Hollywood on the Potomac

Baby It's Cold

August 20, 2014

“I’m going to take the Ice Bucket Challenge,” said Bill Gates. “Good luck,” he added after accepting Mark Zuckerberg’s ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and nominated Elon Musk, Ryan Seacrest and Chris Anderson from TED to participate and raise awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“In the last two weeks, the Ice Bucket Challenge has quite literally “soaked” the nation. Everyone from Ethel Kennedy to Justin Timberlake has poured a bucket of ice water over her or his head and has challenged others do the same or to make a donation to fight ALS within twenty-four hours.  Between July 29 and today, August 13, The ALS Association and its 38 chapters have received an astonishing $5.7 million in donations compared to $1.2 million during the same time period last year. These donations have come from existing donors and 106,955 new donors to The Association,” according to the ALS website.

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Nixon: The Wizard Project

August 10, 2014

“Forty years after the greatest scandal of the American presidency, Elizabeth Drew’s account in Washington Journal remains fresh and riveting, instructive and evocative.  Her afterword on Nixon’s post-Watergate life is equally compelling.” Tom Brokaw 

“Originally published soon after Richard Nixon’s resignation, Elizabeth Drew’s Washington Journal is a landmark of political journalism.  Keenly observed and hugely insightful, Washington Journal opens in 1973 and follows the deterioration of Nixon’s presidency as it happens.”  Overlook Press

“I have a certain amount of empathy for the man,” Drew told Hollywood on the Potomac.  He was trapped in his own personality and by that I mean he had grown up resentful.  He was a kind of scrawny kid and not at all athletic but bookish and that was not the thing in Whittier, California, so he was a loner.”

“Pat Nixon, it’s interesting,” Elizabeth reminisced. “The theory was that they had a non, not much of a marriage. We know they slept in separate rooms.  She didn’t talk much.  She always kind of looked unhappy. She hated politics. But the evidence now is that they were a lot closer than we knew.”

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The Legacy of Watergate

August 4, 2014

To mark the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation, Hollywood on the Potomac looks back at it’s most interesting interviews with the principals starting with Jill Wine, prosecutor. During the Watergate proceedings she cross-examined President Richard Nixon’s secretary Rose Mary Woods about the 18 ½ minute gap on the Watergate tapes.

We asked her to describe what that experience was like. “Well remember, at the time I was quite young and we were up against the White House.  We were called the children’s march against the wicked king and so it was really kind of unusual and I would say a little bit scary to take on the President, but we were professional prosecutors and we were just looking for the truth,” she told us at the Washington screening of All The President’s Men Revisted. “I believe we found it. I don’t think without the tapes it would have been quite as persuasive a case as we had, but the tapes really made it completely clear about guilt.”

We asked her if she liked or disliked the President and how she felt about those testifying.  “I don’t think a question of like or dislike was ever the question. At the time John Dean to me was almost a machine. He was someone that you asked a question and he gave you an answer. I have since in recent years been doing a lot of speaking about Watergate and John and I have been on panels together so I’ve come to know him as a person. It turns out that he actually lived in Evanston which is where I currently live in Illinois. It’s been interesting to get to know Steve Bull and Alex Butterfield and John Dean, and all those people as real people not as just a witness that you ask a question of.”

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