The president appears several times in the film, always seen from a vantage point on the lawn, framed by the windows of the Oval Office, creating the sense that we are eavesdropping on his telephone conversations. Journalist Neil Sheehan has published classified material exposing the government's lies about the Vietnam War, and Nixon is furious: Niko Tavernise The recordings weren't in Liz Hannah's original screenplay. Spielberg says they "helped the verisimilitude of the movie", but their most important function is to underscore the parallel being drawn between Nixon and the current occupant of the White House.
Nixon secretly taped his conversations from February until July Although only the sections revealing his attempts to obstruct the Watergate investigation are well known, more than hours of audio have been released. Josh Singer, the screenwriter hired to fine-tune Hannah's script, homed in on the president expressing his loathing of the press, in particular the newspapers that printed damning extracts from the Pentagon Papers, a confidential volume assessment of the Vietnam War.
Niko Tavernise Advertisement "We started reading the logs of the Nixon tapes around the Pentagon Papers, and some of the characteristics of Nixon — you know, the vindictive nature, the paranoia, the lack of respect for rule of law or democratic values — they seemed somewhat familiar," Singer says, and it's clear to everyone in the room who he's talking about.
The Post is about Donald Trump and his Republican allies, and their attempts to discredit the media. The filmmakers do not pretend otherwise. She thought a story about Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham's decision to run the articles, despite the objections of her male advisers, would resonate. For half an hour each day, the press secretary distorts the truth, manufactures outrage and tells lies: Sarah Huckabee Sanders has taken over from Sean Spicer, but the aggrieved tone is unchanged.
Recently Sanders went on the attack, accusing journalists of regularly "purposefully misleading the American people". Her boss has called the media "a stain on America", "among the most dishonest human beings on earth" and "enemies of the American people".
Until recently, a T-shirt reading "Rope. Hanks plays Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee. When it's his turn to field questions, he starts by quoting the first amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech and assembly. But there's also irrefutable truth … and if you're going to put a curtailment on the ability to publish whatever you want to publish you're not America anymore.
Steven Spielberg The party line is that "this is not a partisan movie". Singer says "the big liars" of the piece, sending kids off to die in the knowledge that the war cannot be won, are the Democrats John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson.
I don't think there's any partisanship in this film at all," Spielberg says. But this is , and in the US at least, there is no such thing as a non-partisan issue, least of all the role of the press in holding the powerful to account.
To conservative website the Daily Wire, The Post is a "leftist propaganda film" that advances "the absurd notion that mainstream journalists are objective crusaders of truth". In a recent Pew poll, 83 per cent of the Republicans surveyed said they thought the media was biased.
A Gallup poll, in June, found that only 13 per cent of Republicans trust national papers to report the news fairly and accurately. The week after Trump's victory, Charlie Sykes, a conservative radio host, penned an op-ed for The New York Times spelling out the disastrous impact of the decades-long right-wing campaign against media bias, real and imagined.
This is a dangerous and unpredictable moment for the media, as old business models and certainties collapse. The "failing New York Times," a regular Trump target, has 3 million subscribers, the most in its history, but more than half the country's journalism jobs have disappeared in the past 15 years, mostly in local newspapers that have closed down or will soon, drastically limiting the fourth estate's ability to act as a check on corruption.
In The Post's closing minutes, once Graham has made the momentous decision to publish, even the men loading stacks of newspapers on to vans seem energised and inspired. An editor reads Justice Hugo Black's Supreme Court opinion in favour of the newspapers aloud — "The press was to serve the governed, not the governors" — and as Graham walks down the court steps, and the strings swell, young women look up at her with shining eyes.
It is classic Spielberg, still "directing the audience with an electric cattle prod," as he once observed of Jaws. His film is a stirring defence of the media's role in a democratic society. It casts journalists as heroes, in the vein of Spotlight and Good Night and Good Luck, and no doubt, like those movies, will be nominated for handfuls of Academy Awards. Many perceive journalists as deceptive and self-serving, like the protagonist of Shattered Glass, or Jake Gyllenhaal's aspiring videographer in Nightcrawler, who is told by producer Rene Russo to "think of our newscast as a screaming woman, running down the street with her throat cut".
Plenty of superb journalism is being produced in the Trump era, but there is also too much shrill commentary, and too many panels of people shouting over one another on cable news. At CNN, Jeff Zucker has said broadcasting so many Trump rallies in full was a "mistake" but also admitted that the president's demagoguery was good for ratings. The morning after Moore's shock defeat in Alabama, the notion that The Washington Post's reporting had made the difference circulated on social media, advanced primarily by journalists themselves.
In defeat, the president changed the subject, returning to a favourite theme: Hence my use of Social Media, the only way to get the truth out. Much of Mainstream Media has become a joke! Most Viewed in Entertainment.