Since Ian Smith’s appearance on Firing Line three years earlier (#S133), an attempt had been made by Henry Kissinger to broker an agreement leading to majority (black) rule; Mr. Smith had walked out of the resulting Geneva Conference, saying that the terms had been changed from what he had agreed to. Meanwhile, terrorism was escalating in Rhodesia, with recent reports of blacks “killing nuns,” as Mr. Buckley puts it, “in the name of ‘Majority rule now.’ ” Mrs. Lestor comes out swinging (“I’d like to comment on your introduction, which I thought was a very biased introduction”), and the pace never lets up. JL: “I wish we had Mr. Kissinger here now, because it may well be, and my belief is, that one thing may well have been said to Mr. Smith by Mr. Kissinger, which was certainly not agreed by Whitehall …” JA: “Well, there was a British official with Kissinger all the time.” JL: “… The Foreign Office would know full well that the British Parliament and the British Labour Party and the British Labour government would never accept a situation … where two of the key positions would be left in the hands of the whites in Southern Rhodesia …” JA: “But my dear Joan, the moment Kissinger had made his speech, the Foreign Office came out, with the full authority of the Foreign Secretary, with a very strong statement fully endorsing what had been-” WFB: “That’s exactly what I said.” JL: “No, they did not endorse. They did not endorse.”
Firing Line with William F. Buckley, Jr.
The Emmy Award–winning television program Firing Line with William F. Buckley Jr. ran for 34 seasons (1966–1999) and was the longest-running public-affairs show with a single host in television history. Host and conservative journalist William F. Buckley Jr. was interested first and foremost in respectful and lively debate, engaging in erudite discussions with statesmen, politicians, activists, economists, journalists, scholars, authors, religious figures, philosophers, poets, and actors whose opinions ranged across the political and ideological spectrum.