Chuck Colson was known as the "evil genius." He pled guilty to obstructing justice and served 207 days in jail, where he found God.
He now says God used Watergate to raise his current ministry.
Yeah, I'm pretty sure God played an active role in Watergate.
Chuck joins Ben Stein as a Watergate player who has responded to our email. We already liked Ben Stein a lot, and his charming email just bolstered our assessment of him as a pretty keen fellow.
Our man Chuck, however, didn't directly respond. A PR flack did, and if the purpose of PR flacks is to engender a positive public image, this one should be fired. Soon. [An aside: a good fake job to tell people you have is Tito Jackson's publicist. Say you just got hired because his old publicist was doing such a crappy job. Well, isn't he??]
Unfortunately, we have been informed that the Page A Day calendar was a joke. We offer our apologies to Mr. Colson for assuming it was real. However, we don't think any regular visitor to Breakpoint can blame us for this mistake.
Here is the text of our email to Chuck: (html added)
We are Watergate historians interested in knowing more about Mr. Colson's change of heart and current insights into his role in that era. We would particularly like to know:
-Did Mr. Colson ever go bowling at the White House?
-Would he ever consider marketing an action figure based on himself?
-According to his page a day calendar, Mr. Colson said "When a person decides to take a position serving Jesus, or his appointed representives on the earth, like say, the president, he must put all his own values and allegiences behind him. He has to be willing to lay down his own, or say, his grandmother's life for his lord or president. So my comments about running over my grandmother were made to demonstrate my faith in Jesus' word, and were unfortunately, taken out of context." But based on our reading of Mr. Colson's excellent memoir, "Born Again", the infamous grandmother line was said before he found Jesus. Could he clarify what he meant?
-Where could we get a copy of this page a day calendar?
Mr. Colson's PR idiot wrote us the following (our comments in blue)
In response to your inquiries:
1) Mr. Colson has never commented on bowling at the White House.
What is the deal with the hush-hush on the bowling? Was Nixon funneling drugs from the Cubans in bowling balls like Homer did with beer in that one Simpsons episode?
2) Mr. Colson is not interested in marketing an action figure based on himself.
Probably for the best. We'd use our JFK PT-109 action figure to kick Colson butt regularly. Not that we still play with dolls or anything.
3) Mr. Colson has issued the following statement in regard to the grandmother quote:
I never said I would run over my own grandmother to get Richard Nixon elected. A former associate of mine in the United States Senate said words to that effect in describing me. But as I relate the story in Born Again (at the end of chapter 5), the press later attributed that quote to me.
Over a year later in August 1971, I wrote a tongue-in-cheek memo to my own staff in which I said that quote might not have been so far from the mark after all. That's as close as I ever came to embracing it. I doubt that any statement, attributed to - but never made by a person - ever got so much publicity. As it still does to this day.
Um, yeah. Right. I quote that memo directly from "Born Again": "Many erroneous things about me have found their way into print lately- but last week's UPI story that I was once reported to have said that 'I would walk over my grandmother if necessary' is absolutely accurate." Absolutely accurate, not so far from the mark. Pretty much the same thing. Note how our actual question, about Colson's later embrace of the grandmother quote as indicative of his love for Jesus, is completely ignored. Note also how he flagrantly lies. Not that we're surprised.
4) I have no information on any page a day calendars issued by Mr. Colson.
If anyone out there does, we'll pay good money.
Thank you again for writing.
You're not particularly welcome.
For more on Chuck, see Hannah's review of Born Again.