Monday, July 16, 2007
Getting a President to Apologize for Misleading the American Public
No, I'm not talking about George Bush. I don't think the current president has enough self-awareness or empathy to apologize to the American people.
But Richard Nixon did. Not at first, of course. In 1976 disgraced ex-President Nixon was interviewed for 20 hours by British journalist David Frost.
Frost relied on James Reston, Jr., a former soldier who abhorred Nixon's Vietnam War policy. In 1977 Reston wrote a book about the experience of working with Frost on this project, but for some reason, publishers decided that 2007 was the year to publish it. 30 years ago many of us baby boomers thought Nixon was as bad as a president could get. Now we know better.
Matthew Dallek of the Associated Press writes that Nixon was "vindictive and bewildered, angered and bemused...angst-ridden..." "Frost tossed his clipboard onto the coffee table and asked whether Nixon was ready to...acknowledge that the power of the presidency had been abused and apologize to the American people for having dragged them through two years of agony."