Posts tagged Richard Nixon
We learned last week, on the May 1 edition of CNN’s Out Front with Erin Burnett, that our government has been spying on all of us for years. In the relevant portion of the transcript, former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente tells us so matter-of-factly that he almost seems surprised that we didn’t already know:
BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It’s not a voice mail. It’s just a conversation. There’s no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?
CLEMENTE: “No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It’s not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.
BURNETT: “So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.
CLEMENTE: “No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not.”
At this point I don’t see any harm in discussing it, though I’ve known about this for longer than I’d care to admit. One of the difficult aspects of working in the security realm is that I hear many things from many sources, and quite a few of them involve topics I can’t (or won’t) divulge to others. So it is in this case.
But now that the cat is out of the bag, it’s worth looking at this a bit more thoroughly. (more…)
World events, epic tragedy, massive misconduct, and the personal impact of the grand sweep of history all struck home for me this week. This is why history and politics fascinate me. A domino falls somewhere else in the world, and it can reach across decades and nations to change lives far away.
It’s easy to imagine that historical events or high-level political machinations seldom impact the real lives of real people. Nothing can be further from the truth. Yeah, we all know that a war or a hurricane can change the lives of the people caught up in such things. But even the intimate and unrelated details of a life can be forever altered in unexpected ways. One domino falls, and one’s world is changed.
I’ve been happily, joyously, enthusiastically married for very close to thirty-seven years. I found out this week that my marriage exists because of the stunning and perhaps treasonous perfidy of Richard Nixon. (more…)
In a classic series of books (The Making of the President: 1960, and its successors 1964, 1968 and 1972), journalist/historian Theodore White set a new standard for political journalism, detailing the workings of an American political campaign in ways never before seen by the general public.
A young Joe McGinniss, clearly inspired by White, turned a gimlet eye to the Nixon Presidential campaign of 1968 in his landmark book (or hatchet job, depending on who you ask), The Selling of the President: 1968.
Roger Ailes was a media wunderkind who took Mike Douglas from a local Philadelphia TV host to the top of the national ratings. He then turned his attention to promoting conservative candidates using his considerable television skills. In his book, McGinniss describes how Nixon’s campaign team actually functioned as a marketing team, preparing Nixon for television stardom like a box of soap. Nixon’s Creative Director of Advertising, Harry W. Treleaven Jr., and Ailes have a conversation about how to best sell Nixon on television without the interference of journalists. Long before Barack Obama has learned to read from a teleprompter, Nixon is to appear on a staged television show. Ailes is direct and profane: (more…)
And now for something completely different …
I’m going to give brief descriptions of some of my favorite movies with political overtones. Many of them aren’t normally thought of as being “political movies.” Some are simply light entertainment. I deeply enjoyed them all, and would highly recommend them to anyone. I’m sure I’ll forget a few, even some of my favorites (I can claim age as an excuse, but I’ve never had a good memory). I hope you, dear reader, will share some of your favorites as well.
In no particular order, here are some of my top political movies: (more…)
Ailes, you may recall, is the mastermind of Fox News. The accusation, reported in Friday’s New York Times, is that he obstructed justice by ordering Judith Regan to lie regarding her relationship with Bernard Kerik. The rumored indictment is based on a random overheard phone call, and an audio tape of the alleged obstruction of justice. The mere existence of the phone call was supposed to be sealed by court order, but the court order was not properly filed and so inadvertently became part of the public record. (more…)