PostHeaderIcon Ayn Rand on Johnny Carson

As an Objectivist and fan of both Ayn Rand and Johnny Carson, I was delighted to find that someone has uncovered an interview he conducted of her on his show back in '66, when her latest book, “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal” had just been published. Objectivists, libertarians, and fans of her books, will easily ignore the black & white, grainy, and flickering video for the pleasure of watching her explain her philosophy, and opine on such matters as the Vietnam War, the draft, and her prognosis for America.

Part One of Two



Younger readers, accustomed to modern TV entertainment, may be surprised at the respectful seriousness with which Johnny, the original and consumate late night comedian, conducted the half-hour long interview. Notice the cogent questions he asked, and the polite opportunity he gave her to answer them, uninterrupted. She was the focus of everyone's attention, not the host. Those were the days… how would Stewart, Colbert, or Maher have handled the interview?

Part Two of Two


I found it fascinating near the end, when Johnny commented on how he preferred to interview controversial guests one-on-one, rather than with an ideological opponent, which usually devolves into a shouting match. FOX news could profit from his example. Their attempt to be 'Fair and Balanced' is taken to a fault. Just imagine how much less informative this would have been, had Johnny scheduled an altruist to interrupt and argue with her, like modern ratings-obsessed cable news programs find obligatory, for the entertainment value. â—„Daveâ–º


One Response to “Ayn Rand on Johnny Carson”

  • Troy says:

    Ah! Mother Ayn!!

    What can you say about the person whose words alone were enough to lift your mind out of the fog?

    I only had to hear this spiel one time for its obvious truth to hit me like a lightening bolt.

    As for today’s TV hosts… they would have tried to make her look like a loon, just as they do to everyone who refutes the progressive nonsense. Even Bill O’Reily would have put her down, if only for her open atheism.

    John Stossel is the only one today who (I think) would have given her a platform like Carson (and a few others) did back then.

    The Bible says (imagine — an atheist quoting the Bible)… “Then you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. While I suspect my truth and that referred to in this Bible quote are not the same, the principle still holds.

    But, if you will, please note a subtlety here… most folk these days misquote the Bible to say merely “the truth shall set you free”. But that misses the key point… you must know what is true before it can help you. Ignoring the obvious truth is not only not the source of freedom, it us usually the exact opposite.

    So, most of us ignore the truth from people like Ayn Rand and accept the lies of the progressives instead. Perhaps a better statement would have been… “if you ignore the truth, you shall be enslaved.

    Thanks for posting this.


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