The PJ Tatler

Political movies then ... and now

Watching “All the President’s Men” today is more than a trip back to that edgy brand of ’70s-era filmmaking.

It’s a reminder how Hollywood could once nail a politically charged story without resorting to partisan cheap shots and other dishonest tactics. That’s something modern films like “Lions for Lambs” and “Green Zone” couldn’t manage.

“Men,” available today for the first time in Blu-ray format, also made me wonder how the public would assess a Watergate-style investigation handled by today’s Washington Post. The newspaper’s own ombudsman admitted its coverage of the 2008 presidential election favored the Democratic ticket, and the 2006 “macaca” incident showed what happens when the Post’s ideology trumps common news judgment.

The Nixon White House tried to paint the Post’s Watergate investigation as partisan politics, but failed. A future GOP administration would have a far better argument involving a future scandal no matter the facts behind the case.