November 29, 2016

After watching the Oscar winning film "All The President's Men" on TCM, I saw so many similarities between Donald Trump and Richard Nixon that I had to write about it.

Outside of the "plumbers" and ratf*ckers Nixon employed, one thing that was eerily striking was the way both men and their surrogates attacked the media.

As the Washington Post was uncovering the incremental truth behind the Watergate break in, Nixon's press operation was in full attack mode.

In the film, director Alan J. Pakula used actual footage and soundbites from Nixon's team.

Nixon's press secretary Ron Ziegler led the way with recriminations against the Post.

Ziegler said, "Why did the Post try to do it? You have a man, editor of the Washington Post by the name of Ben Bradley - I think anyone who honestly accesses what his political persuasions are would, I think come to the conclusion quite quickly that he is not a supporter of President Nixon. I respect the free press. I don't respect the type of journalism, the shabby journalism that is being practiced by the Washington Post."

Clark MacGregor, Chairman of the Committee to Re-elect the President said:

"Using innuendo, third person hearsay, unsubstantiated charges, anonymous sources and huge scare headlines, The Post has maliciously sought to give the appearance of a direct connection between the White House and the Watergate. A charge that the Post knows and a half a dozen investigations have found to be false. The Hallmark of the Post campaign has been hypocrisy."

On the Nixon tapes, the president said to Ziegler, " I want it clearly understood that from now on, ever - no reporter from the Washington Post is ever to be in the White House, is that clear? No reporter from the Washington Post is ever to be in the White House, again."

The hyperbolic treatment of the press by conservatives has been going on for decades, but it reached an absurd level because the Republican presidential candidate and his surrogates initiated nonstop attacks against the press during Trump's presidential run.

Trump had banned the Post and other news organizations because he didn't like their coverage up until two months before the election.

Trump has said he'd like to change the libel laws so the press could be sued.

Trump said, "I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they're totally protected."

If Nixon had this type of operation, would he ever have resigned?

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