Tag Archives: Richard Nixon

Flashback Friday: Frost/Nixon (2008)

In a democracy, an interview between a reporter and a political figure is a normal event.

The 2008 film, Frost/Nixon, written by Peter Morgan (The Crown), is based on the play of the same name. In 1977, the late American President Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) sat down to a televised interview with British television host David Frost (Michael Sheen). It has been three years since the Watergate scandal and his ouster from the highest political office in the land. Over that period, he has not spoken publicly about his misconduct and its aftermath.

Up until that point, Frost’s reputation is not exactly that of a journalistic heavy hitter. Nixon hopes to use that reputation to revive his public perception and earn a hefty check in the process. For his part, Frost has to overcome the doubts that his team has in his ability to succeed. What neither knows is the game that the other will play and how challenging it will be.

This movie is fantastic. The acting is top notch and the story immediately pulls the audience in. Langella almost disappears into the character of Nixon. Though the makeup and prothesis helps, it is the actor who does the heavy lifting. For his part, Sheen as Frost, has the more difficult job. He has to prove that his character has the chops to take on one of the most infamous men in American history.

If there is one takeaway from this movie, it is that politics never changes. Though the narrative takes place nearly fifty years ago, it is a relevant today as it was then.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Frost/Nixon is available for streaming on Peacock.

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Filed under Flashback Friday, History, Movie Review, Movies, Politics, Television

Bag Man: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover-Up, and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House Book Review

Anyone with a basic knowledge of American political history knows something of Watergate. It is one of the few events that is known by a singular name.

But Richard Nixon was not the only one doing the country dirty while in office. His Vice President, Spiro Agnew was also taking advantage of his position and his power. Angew’s rise and fall is chronicled in the new book, Bag Man: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover-Up, and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House. Written by MSNBC headliner Rachel Maddow and TV Producer Michael Yarvitz, it was published last December.

The book tells the story of how the Vice President was able to execute a bribery and extortion ring before and during his time in the White House. When it became obvious that Nixon’s time as President was growing short, three young lawyers took it upon themselves to stop Agnew before he could ascend to the Oval Office.

Based on the podcast of the same name, this book is brilliant. It was both a throwback to the past and a light shining on our current political situation. I knew about Watergate, but I had no idea that Agnew had his own political baggage. It reads like a fictional thriller, even though the events that take place are certainly non-fiction.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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Filed under Book Review, Books, History, Podcast, Politics, Television

All in the Family Character Review: Archie Bunker

The new characters I will be reviewing are from…All in the Family.

*For the foreseeable future, some Character Review posts may not be published every Thursday as they have in the past.

*Warning: This post contains spoilers about the characters from the television series All in the FamilyRead at your own risk if you have not watched the show.

There is something to be said about a well written, human character. They leap off the page and speak to us as if they were right in front of us, as flesh and blood human beings, instead of fictional creations.

From a writer’s perspective, it would be too easy to create a one note character that is entirely predictable. It is much harder to create a fully rounded character who the audience can relate to in-spite of that person’s flaws and imperfect humanity.

Archie Bunker (the late Carroll O’Connor) is very much an every man. A veteran of World War II and a blue collar worker, Archie lives in Queens with his wife Edith (the late Jean Stapleton), his daughter Gloria (Sally Struthers), and his son-in-law Mike “Meathead” Stivic (Rob Reiner).

The world around Archie is changing. When change happens, there are two ways to respond. You can either accept it or entirely reject it. Archie is not shy in admitting that he would prefer that life went back to the way it was. He also is not shy about using not so politically correct terms that some might refer to as racist or sexist.

Archie is a dyed in the wool supporter of the Republican Party and then President Richard Nixon. Which often leads to clashes with Mike and Gloria, who politics are on the more liberal spectrum. He also refers to Edith as “dingbat” and loves to sit in his favorite chair while sharing his opinions about the world around him.

But underneath that gruff and bravado is a man who loves his family and at the end of the day, would do anything for them.

To sum it up: No one is just all good or all bad. It is that in between of good and bad that makes us human. Though Archie Bunker may appear to be a racist and sexist hard-ass, he is in reality a man trying to process the transformation of everything that is in front of him.

That is why he is a memorable character.

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Filed under Character Review, History, New York City, Politics, Television

Thoughts On The Scott Pruitt Resigination

Richard Nixon does not have what one would typically call the best track record when it comes to American Presidents. But he did authorize the creation of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in the early 1970’s. The goal of the agency is protect the environment for not just this current generation, but for generations to come.

Yesterday, EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigned from his post. Many point to his abuse of power, using tax payer money for expenses that are not related to the position and ethics violations as the reason for the resignation.

While it’s about time that he was ousted as head of the EPA, the troubling fact is that his replacement and former second in command Andrew Wheeler is not exactly a proponent of protecting the environment. The previous positions listed on his resume include working as a lobbyist for the coal industry and as an aide for a Senator who is known for openly rejecting the facts of climate change.

The fact is that climate change is real. While we have to protect the economy and make sure that every American has access to reasonable employment, we should not be doing so at the expense of Mother Earth. If we don’t, we may not have a planet or a country to call home.

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Is Donald Trump This Generation’s Richard Nixon?

I was a few years away from entering the world when Richard Nixon was in the The White House.

My guess is that some those who watched as Watergate unfolded and Richard Nixon was booted from The Oval Office, did not think they would ever see honorable seat of the President Of The United States disgraced again.

Enter Donald Trump and Randy Rainbow’s latest video.

Thank you, Randy. You have made this man’s awful tenure in The White House just a little easier to deal with.

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Filed under History, Politics