"All the President's Men", based on the book by Woodward and Bernstein, was impossible to resist for Redford. Nixon! Oh boy! Again, Hollywood passed up the Kennedy-stole-the-election story. What a shock! You have to hand it to these guys, though; they have talent. "President's" was masterful, thanks in large part to Goldman, who knew how to condense the story. Redford tried to play it close to the vest, and comes close to making it come off as straight and narrow. The actual truth portrayed betrays the lack of objectivity, however, at the Washington Post. Redford is Bob Woodward, a former Navy officer and a Republican. This is revealed to Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) who gives him a furtive look upon learning this shocking truth. Jason Robards is Ben Bradlee, the Post's editor. We all know the story: The DNC is broken into by Cubans with White House phone numbers in their address books, and in investigating the burglary Woodward and Bernstein suspect a larger plot, which they uncover through dogged journalism that cannot be denied. The two writers are shown to be complete heroes. Hal Halbrooke plays "Deep Throat", the White House insider who gives Woodward the leads he needs to keep investigating. To this day his identity is unknown, and it remains entirely plausible that he was invented out of whole cloth.
The story is the story, and there is no room for liberal bias in that. To Redford's credit, he does not demonize the Republicans or sermonize. Implicit threat against the pair are made, but not expanded into anything. G. Gordon Liddy did volunteer to "off" Jack Anderson for revealing CIA assets in the U.S.S.R., but there is no evidence that Nixon's Republicans ever thought about blowing Woodward and Bernstein away. Domestic political murders, as best as I can tell, are the province of the Democrats. Even in Oliver Stone's "JFK", it is Lyndon Johnson who supposedly was in on the plan to kill the President.
The bias in "All the President's Men" is subliminal, but leave it to yours truly to see it. First, there is the acronym CREEP, which stands for Committee to Re-elect the President. There have been numerous such committees over he years, and they always go by the acronym CRP. But Woodward and Bernstein turned it into CREEP. Gotcha. There is also a scene in which Bradlee, who in real life was a drinking buddy (and God knows what else) of Kennedy's, getting the news that the story is progressing and has real legs.
"You run that baby," he tells Woodward and Bernstein, then does little jig as he leaves the office. This is telling. Redford and director Alan Pakula allowed it, probably because it let them impart their own happiness over Nixon's downfall through the character. In another scene, Robards/Bradlee tells the reporters, "There's not much riding on this. Just the First Amendment and the Constitution of the United States."
Now just hoooold on there, Ben. Was Watergate really about the Constitution? Was that august document threatened? This begs the question, Where was Bradlee and Post publisher Katherine Graham when the Constitution really was threatened by their pal JFK, who stole the 1960 election? Where were they when their pal Bobby Kennedy was wiretapping Martin Luther King? Democrat operatives had to break into homes, hotels and offices to wiretap Dr. King just as the Plumbers had to break into Dr. Fielding's office, and Larry O'Brien's. A free press is undoubtedly the cornerstone of Democracy, but it functions best when it is not populated by over-inflated egos who think they are the soul arbiter of freedom of expression.
Causes Steven Travers Supports
Conservative, Christian, USC, American patriotism