‘I Am Not A Crook’ – And The Energy Crisis – November 24, 1973
. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS Radio – The Washington Week – November 24, 1973 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.
No shortage of Big Ticket crises this week, the one ending on this day in 1973.
There was Watergate and the seemingly endless twists and turns in what was becoming an increasingly sordid and convoluted tale. The Press Conferences were combative, the revelations were continuing. And there was that matter of the missing 18 minutes of potentially crucial evidence on a White House tape of a conversation between Nixon and H.R. Haldermann which had surfaced earlier in the week. All despite the fact Nixon assured Governors at a meeting in Memphis a day before that no more bombshells would be dropped regarding Watergate.
And there was the Energy Crisis. Talk of rationing gas and tough new measures ahead of the Winter months. Some thought the timing was interesting, if not intentionally distracting – the almost hysteria whipped up over energy shortages and talk of higher gas taxes, pushing the price of a gallon of gasoline up as high as $1.00 a gallon. The House passed emergency legislation authorizing rationing as a last-ditch measure. Opponents of the increased gas tax thought it was punishing those who could least afford it, but who needed it most. But many thought it was the direct result of the Arab Oil embargo that brought about the crisis. And there was talk of retaliation, but it was Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz who pointed out our choices of retaliation were few. Our threat of a grain embargo wasn’t as potent as originally thought, and would have little effect on the situation.
And this week marked the 10th anniversary of the Assassination of President Kennedy, bringing many to reflect how the Presidency of John F. Kennedy was markedly different than the Presidency of Richard Nixon. Ten years after the event, the country had lost faith in its leader, that Kennedy had the ability to inspire the country, and that Nixon had lost that ability.