Sex, politics, and the abuse of power. It was the talk of Washington - 170 years ago. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the petticoat affair that nearly destroyed Andrew Jackson's presidency. Also, the media's power to set the national agenda. And the appeal of powerful men.
Robert McChesney, who teaches journalism at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and journalist John Nichols talk with Steve Paulson about what the Lewinsky affair says about the way the news business has changed. They say news has become entertainment and that reporters can't get their editors interested in serious stories.SEGMENT 2:
Political scientist Katy Harriger reviews the history of how the Watergate special prosecutor evolved into today's independent counsel. She tells Judith Strasser that Kenneth Starr may not have been a good choice for the office and that it's not yet clear whether the statute will be renewed in 1999. Harriger's book is "Independent Justice: The Federal Special Prosecutor in American Politics." Also, critic Barbara Ehrenreich shares her feminist perspective on Bill Clinton and women's issues with Judith Strasser. Ehrenreich's latest bok is "Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War."SEGMENT 3:
Mississippi State University historian John Marszalek tells Jim Fleming about the incident chronicled in his book "The Petticoat Affair: Manners, Mutiny, and Sex in Andrew Jackson's White House." He says it was women's job to safeguard the morals of society and that even the President and his cabinet were powerless to change the attitudes or behavior of Washington's society matrons.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 98-02-08-A.
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