Wednesday, July 24, 2013

All the President's Men Revisited

Catching up on some documentaries, I started with All the President's Men Revisited, which aired earlier this year on Discovery. (My DVRs are full of stuff I never get around to watching.)

Perhaps because I grew up in this era, I did not feel as though I learned much new about this subject. One problem is that Robert Redford produced and narrated, which I think forced them to talk way too much about the movie and not as much about the actual events. The first half hour or so included virtually no interesting information about the events, although I'm sure it was necessary since the younger generation probable knows very little about Watergate. I do feel the presence of Redford and Dustin Hoffman made it feel like they were giving themselves credit instead of the real-life Woodward and Bernstein (who can also be annoying in their own way).

Perhaps the most interesting section is at the end, when they speculate on whether this story could break the same way today, and whether journalists could have the same effect, essentially toppling an entire administation. With the 24-hour news cycle, social media, and increased presidential powers, it seems unlikely that we will ever see something like this again. Which is a sad reflection on both journalism and our society.

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