A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from September 17, 2016
“If you can read the New York Times without moving your lips, you’re a communist”

"There is a contemporary US joke that a liberal is somebody who can read the New York Times without moving their lips” appears to have been cited in print in 1995 (if the Google Books date is correct). American author Gore Vidal (1925-2012) wrote in Imperial America: Reflections on the United States of Amnesia (2004):

“... particularly when demagogues like Senator McCarthy were destroying careers with reckless accusations that anyone able to read the New York Times without moving his lips was a Communist.”

Vidal repeated the line in interviews and has popularized it. The saying means that a person who reads the New York (NY) Times without a bad reaction (such as cursing) is either a liberal or a communist.


Wikipedia: Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal (/ˌɡɔːr vᵻˈdɑːl/; born Eugene Louis Vidal; October 3, 1925 – July 31, 2012) was an American writer (of novels, essays, screenplays, and stage plays) and a public intellectual known for his patrician manner, epigrammatic wit, and polished style of writing.

Google Books
Journal of Information Science
Volume 21
1995
Pg. 142:
There is a contemporary US joke that a liberal is somebody who can read the New York Times without moving their lips.

Google Books
Shimmer:
A Novel

By Sarah Schulman
New York, NY: Bard
1999, ©1998
Pg. 30:
“Anyone who can read the Times without moving his lips is under suspicion. Is that what you call Christian values?”

Google Books
Imperial America:
Reflections on the United States of Amnesia

By Gore Vidal
New York, NY: Nation Books
2004
Pg. 10:
... particularly when demagogues like Senator McCarthy were destroying careers with reckless accusations that anyone able to read the New York Times without moving his lips was a Communist.

Free Republic
“Conservative" Actor Gore Vidal and Bill Maher Blast Sarah Palin (& DrGop0821 Learns how to post)
Conservative Express/PA Times ^ | 4/12/09 | DrGop0821 via mind control by Pissant
Posted on 4/13/2009, 12:00:13 AM by pissant

Maher strayed away from his usual format and interviewed Ron Howard and Gore Vidal rather than having a panel on. Here’s a segment of the Vidal interview where Maher asked him what he thought of the conservative movement today and President Obama.

“I think of myself as a conservative. Admittedly, I can read The New York Times without moving my lips, which is a sign of communism,” Vidal says.

Yahoo! Answers
July 14, 2009
Is it true that Atheists can read the New York Times without moving their lips?

Twitter
notanna1AnnaNotaro
‏@notanna1
“If you can read The New York Times without moving your lips you are a communist”, old joke @stephenfry recalls now on #bbcR4
3:13 AM - 18 Aug 2014

Twitter
Duncan
‏@duncana_
“There’s an old joke that if you can read the New York Times without moving your lips, you’re a communist."—Stephen Fry. *snigger*
3:14 AM - 18 Aug 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityMedia/Newspapers/Magazines/Internet • Saturday, September 17, 2016 • Permalink