Newsweek

Trump Controversies and 'All the President's Men'

Follow the film quotes: The pace of political news is entirely too frenetic, but is it not also very familiar?
For Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward, it may feel as if history is repeating itself 45 years later.
RTRD4CD Source: Jason Reed

Covert ops and cover-ups, sources and subterfuge, lies and litigation, the White House versus the Washington Post. The first six weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency have yielded a harrowing harvest of headlines. The ceaseless onslaught of breaking news, the pervasive scent of scandal, the abrasive denials from seats of power—is it all not a whirlpool of intrigue sucking us downward?

The pace of political news is entirely too frenetic, but is it not also familiar? Do you sometimes watch your preferred cable news outlet and wonder, haven’t I seen this movie before? The answer is you may have. All The President’s Men, which was released in 1976 and was based upon the Watergate investigation that resulted in the resignation of president Richard Nixon, is a template for observing how a free press investigates chicanery that’s possibly associated with the Oval Office.

The film, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, respectively, was nominated for Best Picture (it lost to Rocky) and won four Academy Awards. Although All The President’s Men was released more than four decades ago, it remains timely as a tale of political intrigue and the seduction of power (then again, so does MacBeth ). The movie is currently airing on HBO Now or is available as a rental on YouTube for just $2.99. If you haven’t  seen it, or last saw it before “birther” was a political designation, it’s worth watching as a study guide for our current concatenation of crises.

I am convinced that no one else at the White House had any knowledge of or participation in this deplorable incident.
—White House spokesperson to Bob Woodward (Robert Redford)

Less than three weeks into Donald Trump’s presidency, the Washington Post published a story, citing unnamed “current and former U.S. officials,” alleging that recently confirmed national security adviser Mike Flynn “ privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before

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