Read time: 2 minutes

Dick Cavett Shares His Take On Ayn Rand

The esteemed talk show host shares why Ayn Rand never made it onto his show.
Dick Cavett Shares His Take On Ayn Rand
Image from: jvdalton

I never did buy into Ayn Rand, even when I was a kid. I'm one of those people who will read almost anything if a smart person enthuses about it, and the smart person in this case was my brother's best friend Joe. So I read "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead," and thought they were silly. (Joe was appalled, I think.) Not because I was so brilliant or insightful about her hollow philosophy, but because at 13, I was already well read and recognized that her characters were so flat and poorly written.

So this story appeals to me. Elon Green was interviewing Dick Cavett for the New Yorker, and they got into a discussion of being obsessed with books, how there wasn't enough time to get to all of the good ones. That's when Cavett shared his take on Ayn Rand. Since it didn't make it into the final interview, Green posted it on his site.

So this one's for the readers:

CAVETT: [...] You can piss away valuable hours of your life reading Ayn Rand—her wretched appeal to the young, her wretched writing, her wretched person.

She was supposed to be on my show; I was kind of sorry she wasn’t, because I was kind of laying for her. I did not succumb, as a kid, to being enthused by Ayn Rand, and that sense of power, as every kid was at one time until they outgrew it. The old bag sent over a list of fifteen conditions for appearing with me, or for appearing with anyone, I guess. One of them was, “There will be no disagreeing with Ms. Rand’s philosophy.”

GREEN: You’re kidding.

CAVETT: No! I wrote at the bottom of the list, to be sent back to her, “There will be no Ms. Rand, either.”

Imagine. Rand's philosophy was so badly reasoned, she couldn't talk about it.

There's your Republican party, in a nutshell.

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $21 for 2021? Please consider a one-time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage


New Commenting System

Our comments are now powered by Insticator. In order to comment you will need to create an Insticator account. The process is quick and simple. Please note that the ability to comment with a C&L site account is no longer available.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.

Please Do Not Use the Login Link at the Top of the Site.

In order to comment you must use an Insticator account. To register an account, enter your comment and click the post button. A dialog will then appear allowing you create your account.

We will be retiring our Crooks and Liars user account system in January, 2021.

Thank you.
C&L Team