Nixon had the Secret Service turn the Oval Office, its telephones, the Cabinet Room, and his "hideaway" in the Executive Office Building into recording studios. He bugged his own life, ensuring that anything you said to the president of the United States would be recorded, thousands and thousands of hours of it.
While the news business has changed dramatically over the past six decades, there is much for all journalists to learn from Bob Schieffer's remarkable career. He hosted presidents and world leaders. He asked tough questions, but was never confrontational. He never wanted to be the story; he just wanted to cover the news.
Everyone who has an opinion on the Edward Snowden revelations should watch this film. Everyone who has an opinion on the USA PATRIOT Act should tune in. Disturbed by the National Security Agency's actions? Check your local listings for when the PBS show Independent Lens airs. I say all this, mind you, before I've even seen the film.
As the prison population soared, conservatives chafed at the waste of human potential and increasing cost of the prison bureaucracy. They were frustrated that so little was being done to prepare inmates for their release, and they were appalled at the overcrowded conditions, violence and rape, and the lack of medical care, drug treatment and mental-health services. Conservatives joined with liberals in backing such important reforms as the Prison Rape Elimination Act, the Second Chance Act and the Fair Sentencing Act.
Ron Reagan and Ron Christie discuss clashing portrayals of Ronald Reagan -- Perlstein's smart, shrewd charmer (The Invisible Bridge) and Cannon's under-informed raconteur (Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime). Consensus: he was a shrewd fabulist. And on the 40th anniversary of Nixon's resignation, both Rons lament the Watergate-ization of politics but disagree who's the better president -- RN or BO.