Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It Feels Like 1973, Doesn't It?


 
Archibald Cox
On the night of October 20, 1973 I was barely two months past my fifteenth birthday. As young as I was, I was at least perceptive enough to understand that something extraordinary was occurring in the life of America. On the evening of the historical and extraordinary "Saturday Night Massacre", when Dick Nixon fired the Watergate special prosecutor, Archibald Cox, my brother Pete and I were across the street from our house at the home of our pals, Tom and Tim Finkle. When NBC's John Chancellor broke into the regularly televised programming to announce that "America is in the midst of a constitutional crisis" and that, "Nothing like this has ever happened before", I knew then and there that the proverbial substance had hit the fan. Between the firing of Cox, the resignation-in-disgrace of Vice-President Spiro Agnew, and the swearing-in of the new Veep, Gerald R. Ford, October of 1973 was one of those milestone months that took the average news junkie's breath away - not unlike February 2017. As Yogi Berra once observed, "It's Deja Vu all over again!"
 
Watergate turned me into the stone-cold political animal that I remain to this day, forty-four years after the fact. In the summer of 1973, weeks before I turned fifteen, so transfixed was I by the daily hearings that were unfolding on the television screen, I taped about four hours of them by placing the microphone of my little cassette tape recorder up to the speaker of the TV in my father's den. I still have those tapes, filed away in a drawer about six feet from where I now sit. I knew damned well that history was being made and I was determined to preserve it for the sake of posterity. I guess it never occurred to me that the networks might have their own system of archiving these nasty little events. Stupid kid!
 
As someone once said (and I wish like heck I could remember who said it) "everything today is just the same as it was then - only different". The scandal that is now brewing in Washington is so palpable that one would have to be in complete denial not to perceive it. For every hour that ticks by, the stench becomes more-and-more pronounced. The Trump campaign conspired with the government of a hostile foreign power (with a little help from the head of the FBI) to pervert the American election. Some dare call it "treason".
 
"Nothing like this has ever happened before."
 
NBC's Chancellor
John Chancellor died in July of 1996. About ten years after Watergate, I would find myself working in the lobby of Rockefeller Center in New York City, headquarters to the National Broadcasting Company. More than once, I would see him emerge from the elevator and stride across the lobby. I was always tempted to walk up to him and explain the impact that his reporting had on me at so tender an age - but I was never able to muster up the courage to do so. It was one thing to strike up a friendly conversation with David Letterman (as I did twice) but John Chancellor was something else indeed. He had a dignity and a gravitas that I could never come close to approaching, so I let him walk by undisturbed (although making eye contact with the great man was enough to give me the dry heaves). Six months ago I would have been tempted to say that we'll never see his like again, but I need to restrain myself. The Washington press corps seems to be awakening from a long and blissful slumber. We shall wait and see.
 
If Watergate was a paper cut, this is going to be a blood bath. These are extraordinary times to witness.
 
Tom Degan
Goshen, NY
 
SUGGESTED READING AND VIEWING:
 
All the President's Men
by Robert Woodward and Carl Bernstein
 
It is one of the very few times of my experience that the movie was every bit as good as the book. Watch it. Read it - or both. Either way, you won't be disappointed.

MANDITORY VIEWING!

Monday's Rachel Maddow program was the most extraordinary of her notable career (at least in my opinion). The scandal is unraveling, slowly but ever-so-surely. If you missed the opening of her program last night, you missed something that was quite eye-opening. Here's a link to watch it….WATCH IT!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WX8dgbr5EI8

 What is now happening is extraordinary; we're talkin' unprecedented here. It keeps getting stranger and stranger. This is no ordinary time. We’ll just leave it at that.


9 Comments:

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Joanne Noragon said...

The third estate is being heard from; it's time for real artillery from the fourth.

 
At 3:55 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Denial, distraction and cover-up never changes.

 
At 5:23 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

It feels like August 2009

www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfl55GgHr5E

;-)

 
At 10:35 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

I thought Trump blaming the military for the botched Yemen raid was particularly "presidential". Here's a guy who thinks he can cut taxers on the rich, but increase the already bloated military budget, build a trillion dollar wall, and round up 11 million "illegals" and still balance the budget.

That alone makes him insane.

 
At 12:21 AM, Blogger Majormajor said...

Mozart,

When did President Trump blame the military? I watched the speech and didn't hear that.

When did President Trump say he was cutting taxes on the rich? I watched his speech and didn't hear that. He did say he wants a tax cut for the middle class.

What is insane about closing our borders?

 
At 6:44 AM, Blogger Mozart1220 said...

Cluckie.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/02/28/trump-passes-blame-for-yemen-raid-to-his-generals-they-lost-ryan/?utm_term=.4f6cdc04d01e


His tax cuts , like ALL tax cuts, will benefit the rich and screw the working class. It will severely cut needed revenue and at the same time he's planning YOOOOGE spending plans like his "wall" and a 15 % increase in military spending (at a time we should be cutting the Pentagon budget)

Also borders cannot be CLOSED. The "insane" part is thinking they can while at the same time flushing the main thing that makes America "great". Our diversity. Trump wants to "Make AMerica WHITE again. Notice he never mentions the 4 million WHITE EUROPEAN "illegals" here? No wall on the east and West coasts?

Maybe we should focus instead on the TREASON committed daily by Trump and his KKKabal.

WHAT HAVE CONSERVATIVES DONE FOR THE POOR AND MIDDLE CLASS THE LAST 50 YEARS?

You still manage to avoid answering that.

 
At 10:48 AM, Blogger Majormajor said...

"like ALL tax cuts, will benefit the rich and screw the working class."

Spoken like someone who is not the sharpest pencil in the drawer.

 
At 6:13 PM, Blogger Majormajor said...

I guess Mozart is opposed to a tax cut for anyone who pays taxes, cause it will hurt the people who don't pay taxes, like 49% of Americans.

 
At 7:34 PM, Blogger Dollar Store Lady said...

No one screwed the middle class more than Obama. His health care plan was the greatest redistribution of wealth taken from the middle class along with full time jobs.

 

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