Ed Driscoll

'Rashomon on the Potomac,' Then and Now

There’s a memorable moment in Woodward and Bernstein’s The Final Days, when, reflecting upon the conflicting testimony during the Chinese water torture of the Ervin hearings, press secretary Ron Ziegler tells President Nixon:

“It’s a Rashomon theory,” Ziegler [said]. “Five men sit in a room, and what occurs in that room or what is said in that room means something different to each man, based upon his perception of the events that preceded it.”

And just as the Obama administration conjured up the ghost of Ziegler last year when attempting to stonewall Fox News and add Charles Krauthammer to their enemies list (ironically, the rare conservative voice at Nixon’s old nemesis, the Washington Post), the state-run media are having their own Rashomon theories about President Obama. In Time magazine, Mark Helperin proffers, “Rashomon on the Potomac: Four Views of Obama.”