Polemics & Exchanges

On Reversing Course

In “Now He Knows the Rest of the Story” (Rockford Files, May), Scott P. Richert wrote that Paul Harvey “reversed course on the Vietnam War” in 1970, having previously been a supporter.  I remember distinctly that he made this decision as he drove his son to Canada to avoid the draft.  But I am sure his motives were pure.

—Richard J. Johnson
Coeur d’Alene, ID

Mr. Richert Replies:

Mr. Johnson may be concerned with the motives behind Paul Harvey’s May 1, 1970, on-air reading of his open letter to President Nixon, but the paragraph in which I mentioned it was not.  I cited the open letter, Harvey’s support for Pat Buchanan’s insurgency against President George H.W. Bush in 1992, and his willingness to be courted by George Wallace in 1968 as evidence of Harvey’s independent streak, which belies the media’s portrayal of him as a loyal Republican.  Whatever one might think of his reversal, it does illustrate the point.

That said, I have to assume that Mr. Johnson’s distinct memory of the circumstances surrounding Harvey’s decision is intentional hyperbole.  Paul Harvey’s son was a conscientious objector during Vietnam; Harvey’s wife was opposed...

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