Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thai, Everyone!

From the DVD of "Frost/Nixon," a little documentary about the Nixon Library featuring director Ron Howard and, oh yeah, President Nixon's last chief of staff, Kathy O'Connor, and me. Thai translation provided for your convenience.


MK said...

What a cool feature! I really enjoyed seeing that. I have my own take on some of what is in the clip, of course. Such as -- wow, there was (still is?) a replica of the Lincoln Sitting Room, I didn't know that. The original was one of the taping stations for the White House Telephone tapes series, of course! I enjoyed seeing a glimpse of the replica.

Your point in the clip about the need to assess unguarded comments and public statements is well taken. I've spent a great deal of time pondering whether it would have been possible to handle the implementation of the PRMPA differently than it was. Not in terms of what was and is in the process of being released -- whether RN was right to tape them or not, many of the taped conversations clearly have historical significance. I'm thinking of some of the other stuff.

Such as the fact that during the 1980s, as a federal archivist I often started my briefings for the the few people who toured our processing area by saying, "Imagine waking up one morning and knowing that conversations you had taped with the expectation that they would be private and remain under you control had been seized by the government. And that third parties would be listening to them to determine what the public should hear. Well, that's what happened to Richard Nixon." It was my attempt to remind people of RN's humanity, of the shock of what had occured, an attempt that was unknown to anyone but the handful of people who heard it. Even they may not all have understood what I then was trying to convey! Reminding people of the basic humanity of Presidents can be surprisingly challenging.

Thanks again for posting the clip, much appreciated (and enjoyed). Thanks also for the great series of pix from your visit to NYC, great fun for me to see!

Fr. John said...

Thanks, MK!