I'm neither a Zappa fan or a Zappa hater, but I love how he handles himself on this 1986 episode of Crossfire with Robert Novak (download video, 50 meg Quicktime file). During Tipper Gore's crackdown on dirty rock lyrics, Zappa found himself thrust into the role of first amendment spokes-musician, and he handled it expertly, confounding people like Novak with his direct, articulate approach to free speech and government censorship. But Zappa's ire is directed not at Novak, but at John Lofton, (at the time) a columnist for Reverend Sun Myung Moon's Washington Times. Lofton is practically frothing at the mouth, at one point even ridiculing Zappa's stated interest in getting young people to register to vote, and Zappa quips that he actually likes Novak more than Lofton. (Lofton now describes himself as a "recovering Republican" and is Communications Director of the conservative anti-Bush Constitution Party.) And who has replaced Frank Zappa as the go-to musician on the political circuit?