7 June 2001 | consortpinguin
A True Portrait of Nixon
I enjoyed "Washington: Behind Closed Doors." This mini-series aired in 1977, not long after Watergate and Vietnam made this country distrustful of its Federal Government.
The thinly-veiled plot line follows the Nixon Administration's rise and fall with uncanny accuracy. The writers must have known someone on the inside. Jason Robards stood out as always playing President "Richard M. Monckton" and he did not rely on caricature like David Frye, Rich Little, and other comedians of them time. He had just the right mix of pragmatism, enthusiasm, and two-faced deceit. Robert Vaughn made a perfect Haldeman / Ehrichman type, openly manipulative and arrogant. William Daniels also brought the "Plumber" character to life, with traces of Chuck Colson and G. Gordon Liddy.
I don't believe this series has ever been repeated. I think enough time has passed to give the American people some perspective on Nixon, who spent his last years trying to repair his legacy. A lot of new evidence has come out since then, confirming the worst about Nixon and his whole administration, as well as the Johnson White House.
This show should be required viewing for every new U.S. President. I think that the lesson learned is that the president will not get away with lying to the American people for very long. Because we have a free press and a two-party government, somebody eventually will spill the beans. "The Pentagon Papers," "All The President's Men," "The Final Days," and "Dereliction of Duty" come to mind as exposes of lies from the White House. And...I won't mention any names, but... there was a recent president who found out that the cover-up was worse than the fun and games in the Oval Office.