Richard Armitage on The Value of Snark

Richard Armitage was the 13th United States Deputy Secretary of State, serving from 2001 to 2005. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and then after the fall of Saigon moved to Washington D.C. to work as a consultant for the United States Department of Defense, which sent him to Tehran and Bangkok.

Throughout the late 70s and early 80s, Armitage worked as an aide and foreign policy advisor to politicians including Senator Bob Dole and President-elect Ronald Reagan. When Reagan was elected, Armitage was appointed to the Department of Defense.  In the 1990s, Armitage worked in the private sector before being confirmed as Deputy Secretary of State with the election of George W. Bush in 2001. He left the post in 2005.

Armitage was educated at the United States Naval Academy. He is an avid bodybuilder, and speaks many languages, including Vietnamese.

  • Transcript


Question: Do shows like “The Daily Show” contribute to a growing cynicism?

Armitage:    No.  I don’t think they contribute.  If anything there’s an awareness of things going on.  As I say, they exploit the vulnerabilities of . . .  I know as a policy maker . . .  And I’ve been parodied on there at least once to my knowledge, and I deserved it.  I said something very stupid.  So I find that my children actually, in a way, have a fair understanding of a lot of things that they wouldn’t otherwise  . . . otherwise know.