FBI snuck agents into tapings of “The David Frost Show” to determine how subversive it was

An invitation to Hoover to appear on the show was sufficient cause to open an investigation into the British journalist

Written by JPat Brown
Edited by Michael Morisy

Spurred by an invitation for then-director J. Edgar Hoover to appear on the show, the FBI’s surprisingly comprehensive file on journalist David Frost and his eponymous talk show is a master’s class in sixties establishment paranoia.  

Like the show itself, the file is rife with A-list guest starts, from Joan Baez to Warhol superstar Viva – the latter of which is triumphantly outed by her “true name,” Susan Hoffman.  

Also of interest is the report on page 26 by a unnamed special agent, who was planted in the studio audience for the November 18th, 1970 show which featured former attorney general, Ramsey Clarkas a guest. The agent apologizes for not taking written account, but the bright lighting, as well as the need for discretion while siting in front of a camera, made “discretion necessary.”

You understand.   

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