“Outside of landing the Hindenburg in a lightning storm, that’s about the shittiest idea I’ve ever heard.”
- Bob Odenkirk as Ben Bagdikian, Washington Post reporter in the film The Post, responding to the Post’s lawyer’s suggestion that the Post delay publishing The Pentagon Papers.
Kate and I watched the above film over the weekend, interesting historical perspective on events pre-Watergate. This film is a prequel, in effect, to All The President's Men, finishing with a similar image to how All The President’s Men starts, the Watergate burglary.
Some other quick notes, from IMDB:
- In all of the scenes depicting President Nixon on the phone in the Oval Office, Nixon's actual voice is heard from White House tapes.
- In his memoir, the real Daniel Ellsberg claimed that walking out of RAND with the Pentagon Papers (and returning them) over the course of months was a calculated risk, since he had never had his bag checked by security, but he did not know for sure if it was not policy to do so.
- In scenes involving the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg's original documents were used as props, including the pages that were scattered over the floor of Benjamin C. Bradlee (Tom Hanks') home.
- Steven Spielberg wanted to have his film released as quickly as possible given the parallels between its theme and the burgeoning political 'fake news' climate in the U.S. According to Meryl Streep, filming started in May (2017) and finished at the end of July (2017) and Spielberg had it cut two weeks later, an unprecedented feat. The gestation from script to final cut lasted a modest 9 months.
“News is the first rough draft of history.”
- Meryl Streep as Katharine Graham,
owner of The Washington Post newspaper, The Post
An article about the real Katharine Graham, worth reading . . .
Katharine Graham and Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post