Crossfire aired on CNN from 1982 to 2005, famously pitting liberal pundits and special guests against their conservative counterparts. Perhaps you will remember the most famous episode — the day in 2004 when Jon Stewart paid a visit and demolished the whole premise of the show. It’s hard to top that moment. But, maybe coming in a close second was Frank Zappa’s memorable appearance in 1986.
On that March day, Zappa jumped into the fray and fought the culture wars of the 1980s. His main opponent wasn’t the often prickly conservative commentator Robert Novack. Instead, it was John Lofton, a right-wing columnist for The Washington Times, who argued that government should censor rock lyrics deemed unfriendly to families. Zappa, who considered himself a conservative too, took umbrage and you can watch the conversation unfold … and at times deteriorate. Also don’t miss Zappa’s testimony before Congress in 1985.