October 19 - When Scandal Replaced Substance in our Politics; The Mother of all Political Scandals

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Part 1

We begin with the extent to which scandal dominates politics today and how every political incident nowadays ends up with a “Gate” attached to it, the latest of which is the recent so-called Secret Service scandal which has yet to be branded Secret Service Gate, but stayed tuned. Matt Bai, the national political columnist at Yahoo News and a former chief political correspondent for the New York Times Magazine joins us to discuss his new book “All the Truth is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid”, which traces the current fusion of news and infotainment to the scandal that erupted around Senator Gary Hart back in 1987 when he was the front-runner to be the next president of the United States, way ahead of George H.W. Bush in the polls, only to become the laughing stock of late night television and a footnote in history. We examine what happened to break the tradition of silence about the private lives of politicians, in particular presidents like FDR, JFK and Lyndon Johnson, who the press knew were engaged in extra-marital affairs but never went public with the information.

 

matt bai

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Part 2

Then we hear from John Dean in an interview I did with him back on August the 7th when his new book came out “The Nixon Defense: What He Knew and When He Knew It”. We discuss the mother of all political scandals Watergate and its legacy on journalism and in politics as the reforms that took place in the wake of Watergate are being rolled back and all political scandals since, whether large or small, have been given the “Gate” label whether they deserve it or not.

john dean

 

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