Daily Archives: January 12, 2012

Revisiting Nixon’s Enemies List

Ouch. Now I understand why Art Buchwald was so distraught when he failed to be included on the list of enemies that Tricky Dick Nixon compiled during his presidency in the early ’70s. It appears that our Federal Homeland Defenders are monitoring various blog posts and social media sites — and as best I can tell I’m not on the list.

What’s up with that? I’m the one who broke the story about the Homeland Defenders confiscating a jar of organic peanut butter from a friend of mine as he went through security to board a flight from Orlando to Akron/Canton.

Here’s a story from Mediaite:

According to a report byReuters‘s Mark Hosenball, Matt Drudge‘s Drudge Reportand many other websites have been kept under surveillance by the Department of Homeland Security. A DHS official involved in the website monitoring program confirmed the authenticity of the watch list to the news agency.

Under the umbrella of “Social Networking/Media Capability” — the department has been keeping tabs on “blogs, forums and social networks online for at least the past 18 months.” Why? According to Hosenball, the department says it is for the purpose of collecting “information used in providing situational awareness and establishing a common operating picture.”

Here is the full list of websites Homeland Security has been watching:


The Drudge Report
The Huffington Post
The New York Times’s Lede blog
Wired’s Threat Level
Wired’s Danger Room
ABC News’ investigative blog The Blotter
“blogs that cover bird flu … news and activity along U.S. borders … drug trafficking and cybercrime”


Well, why does it matter that my blog is not on the list?

Back to Buchwald.

Art Buchwald, for those of who who reached puberty during the era when you can only hold someone’s attention for 140 characters or less, was a well-known and well-respected writer of satire and social commentary, primarily for The Washington Post.

But when Nixon released his enemies list, Buchwald wasn’t included — even though he had been lampooning the Prez for years. Here’s from Forbes:

In the video Buchwald said that his greatest “hurt” was never having made Richard Nixon’s list of enemies. “When I tried to find out why I didn’t, one of his people told me, ‘you’re not important enough. And that really hurt me,’” he said. It’s not as though he didn’t try: In the midst of the Watergate scandal, he wrote a column depicting Nixon as one of three men in a lifeboat, with Nixon bailing water into the boat.

Upon reflection, though, Buchwald concluded that this was a sinister plot by Nixon and his lackeys. He argued, with tongue firmly in cheek, that he was intentionally left off the list to undermine his credibility. If you weren’t considered by Tricky Dick to be an enemy — then you weren’t worth reading.

So I wonder if that’s what’s up with this situation involving the Homeland Defenders? If they are trying to undermine the credibility of this pajama-clad citizen journalist by excluding me from their monitoring list then all I can say is–well played.