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Jimmy Carter's 'Lust in the Heart' Playboy Interview – 1976

Feeding Frenzy Carter admitted in an unsolicited comment to two Playboy freelance writers that he had "looked on a lot of women with lust" and had "committed adultery in my heart many times," strange revelations all the more damaging because they appeared in a soft-porn magazine.

A separate New York Times Magazine interview with Norman Mailer, also published during the general election campaign, added fuel to the frenzy's fire thanks to Carter's impolitic remark, "I don't care if people say f---." The press had a field day with Carter's oddball offerings, but some journalists correctly saw the controversy as a warning sign of the future direction of American politics.

As the New York Times editorialized, the erosion of "the legitimate boundaries of [politicians'] private lives and intimate feelings" had begun.

Feeding Frenzy Main Page

© Copyright 1998 Larry J. Sabato

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