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It Is Quite Obvious
Gene Basset
Original political cartoon

"It's quite obvious that there are certain inherently government activities, which, if undertaken by the sovereign in protection of ... the nation's security are lawful, but which if undertaken by private persons, are not."


1977. In the May 19 episode (part 3) of the David Frost interviews of former President Richard Nixon, Frost continued to probe Nixon about the legality of presidential actions and his statement moments before that "when the president does it that means that it is not illegal." The host referred specifically to an interrogatory Nixon had filed with Congress's Church Committee which was investigating congressional oversight responsibilities over the nation's intelligence agencies information-gathering activities.

Frost began quoting Nixon
Q: "It's quite obvious that there are certain inherently government activities, which, if undertaken by the sovereign in protection of the interests of the nation's security are lawful, but which if undertaken by private persons, are not." What, at root, did you have in mind there?

As his response to Frost, Nixon replied by quoting Abraham Lincoln from the Civil War era to justify some of his actions; Frost asked Nixon if the comparison was valid.

For three years after he resigned from office Richard Nixon remained outside the public limelight. However, in 1977 British journalist David Frost conducted a series of four syndicated television interviews with the former president about Watergate and related issues. Broadcast in the US and abroad, the premiere episode drew 45 million US viewers, the largest television audience ever for a political interview. A post-interviews Gallup poll showed that Nixon had no success in changing public opinion - two in three Americans still did not believe Nixon and still thought he was guilty of obstructing justice. These interviews later became the subject of a play, Frost/Nixon, and later a movie of the same name. (published in May 1977)

Newspaper artist Gene Basset spent more than 40 years behind the drawing board, first as a sports and theatrical cartoonist and later as an award-winning political cartoonist.
After working in several cartooning capacities, in 1962 Basset, based in Washington, DC, became the chief editorial cartoonist for Scripps Howard newspapers with his work appearing in Scripps Howard papers across the country. A decade later, his cartoons were syndicated by the United Feature Syndicate. Basset joined the staff of the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 1982 where he retired a decade later.


 Quick Summary of this Item
Title: It Is Quite Obvious
Artist: Gene Basset
Art Type: Original Artwork
Medium: Pen, brush and ink; singletone paper
Media: On artist's board
Style: Without Frame
Image Size: 9.75 x 15
Availability: In Stock
Price: $375

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