Q: You are an advocate for the legacy of your great-great-grandfather Herbert Hoover. What would you say are the biggest misconceptions about him?
A: Well look, he is mostly known and reviled and blamed for the Great Depression and I think that’s wildly unfair. I think any fair reading of the history and the economics now demonstrate that actually Hoover had nothing to do with causing the Great Depression, that it had everything to do with the stock market speculation that preceded him for the 10 years before his presidency… . And then the Fed’s handling of monetary policy at a time when we were having a deflation. … And the truth is, nobody knew what was happening, so we just didn’t have an advance understanding of modern macroeconomics the way we do now and so Hoover was dealing with limited tools in his tool kit to go after it. ….
Q: Who has been your toughest interview on “Firing Line”?
A: Ann Coulter’s difficult to crack. You don’t crack her; she’s not really crackable (laughs). But I don’t think of it – I think of it more as sort of who we learn the most about, who were the people that we actually really made a difference, like the country would have been different, our discourse would have been different if we hadn’t had these moments on the show. I think that’s certainly true of the Stephen Moore show. Stephen Moore was, of course, going to be one of Donald Trump’s nominees to the Federal Reserve Board and he had a few moments on our show that were pretty revelatory, not only for the fact that he didn’t understand monetary policy and hadn’t thought it through. …
So that was revelatory but what was also revelatory was he had pretty regressive views about women in the workplace and he said some pretty offensive things about President Obama. … I mean, Stephen Colbert spent two nights ripping up Stephen Moore using clips exclusively from our program on “The Late Show” and that made an impact.
George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.