Andrea Mantegna, "Presentation in the Temple"

Andrea Mantegna, “Presentation in the Temple” (c.1460), tempera on wood, 67 x 86 cm, Staatliche Museen, Berlin (image via Web Gallery of Art) <>

On Thursday, the day before the 45th anniversary of the infamous ‘smoking gun’ tape that confirmed Richard M. Nixon’s efforts to obstruct justice, Donald J. Trump announced there are no tapes of his conversations with former FBI Director James Comey.

I’m glad I’m not Brezhnev. Being the Russian leader in the Kremlin. You never know if someone’s tape recording what you say.

—Richard M. Nixon

Which came first, the intestine or the tapeworm?

—William S. Burroughs

It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.

—W.E.B. Du Bois

I’ll have to have a room of my own. Nobody could sleep with Dick. He wakes up during the night, switches on the lights, speaks into his tape recorder.

—Pat Nixon

Significant officials at publicly traded companies are casually and cavalierly engaged in insider trading. Because insider trading has as one of its elements communication, it doesn’t take rocket science to realize it’s nice to have the communication on tape.

—Preet Bharara

You can’t get rid of it with exercise alone. You can do the most vigorous exercise and only burn up 300 calories in an hour. If you’ve got fat on your body, the exercise firms and tones the muscles. But when you use that tape measure, what makes it bigger? It’s the fat!

—Jack LaLanne

The man who will follow precedent, but never create one, is merely an obvious example of the routineer. You find him desperately numerous in the civil service, in the official bureaus. To him government is something given as unconditionally, as absolutely as ocean or hill. He goes on winding the tape that he finds. His imagination has rarely extricated itself from under the administrative machine to gain any sense of what a human, temporary contraption the whole affair is. What he thinks is the heavens above him is nothing but the roof.

—Walter Lippmann

Another thing to do with the blues is how they were recorded. They were done on the quick, and some of that stuff was made on wire, not even tape, let alone digital.

—Keith Richards

Presidential power was overruled by the high bench in July 1974, when President Nixon was ordered to turn over some audio tapes of his White House conversations, including the ‘smoking gun’ tape of June 23, 1972, that revealing the Watergate cover up.

—Helen Thomas

When you hear in the tape recordings Nixon’s own voice saying, We have to stonewall, We have to lie to the Grand Jury, We have to pay burglars a million dollars, it’s all too clear the horror of what went on.

—Bob Woodward

Little other than a red tape Talking-machine, and unhappy Bag of Parliamentary Eloquence.

—Thomas Carlyle

I was under medication when I made the decision not to burn the tapes.

—Richard Milhous Nixon

Weekend Editors

Hyperallergic's Weekend editors are Natalie Haddad, Thomas Micchelli, Albert Mobilio, and John Yau.