“Presidents and the Press: Trump, Nixon & More”

(Schieffer; Amy Goodman; Historian Douglas Brinkley; Harry Rosenfeld (who was Woodward-&-Bernstein’s editor); and Shane Goldmacher)

Rosenfeld: in the Watergate story, “we escaped by a hair,” thanks to the Nixon tapes; but there’s no clear path to escaping our current predicament. He saw much resemblance to Nazi Germany (where he grew up). Hitler similarly attacked the press — a key institution for holding government accountable.

Brinkley said historians’ evaluation of Trump’s presidency already rates him the worst ever. Well, duh!

Again explaining Trump’s win was a big topic. The celebrity factor was important. Trump drew surprisingly huge crowds in the hinterlands, outside population centers. And his basic message resonated. Goldmacher noted that when the two candidates’ convention speeches were polled, without revealing their names, Trump’s outpolled Clinton’s. Schieffer said many voters knew Trump was a flawed candidate but decided, “Nothing is working, I’ll take a flyer on this guy.”

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