In what certainly ranks as one of the more bold and adventurous attempts by anything but proud Watergate era newshound Bob Woodward to once again remind a more or less disinterested world of his once upon a time award-winning, headline-grabbing, journalistic relevance, the golden boy of inside the D.C. beltway muckraking has hastily put together a little something that should quickly prove to be way more than his usual ho-hum blast from his always up for grabs, not yet altogether regurgitated, go-to past.
No doubt inspired by the unsightly stink of so many WikiLeaks currently hitting the global fan these days, Woodward's latest up-to-speed foray for pay, the rather suggestively entitled, "DickiLeaks: First and Fore(skin)Most & Other Assorted OddBall Realities of the Nixon White House Years," should go a long way to help explain what was so keenly unobserved during a time when all sorts of used to be hell was breaking loose, and those responsible for leading a nation, seemingly all too caught up with fiddling with itself, did what best they could to remain otherwise reasonably sane while the evening wore on.
And, in a certainly well-advised bit of editorial-like chutzpah, Woodward has seen fit to dole out his seemingly endless goldmine of behind-the-scenes, under-the-rug, fly on the wall (and pants) Nixonian tidbits with all the abbreviated style and would-be unintentional wink/wink grace of a world classless grand master who, as always, thankfully needs no outside further assistance to help bait whichever end of the hook is clearly meant to hang the twisted legacies of not only the now fully rotted, semi-forgotten carcass of the notoriously infamous 37th President of the United States, but also his own opportunistic, right place/right time, lucky sorry ass self as well.
What follows then are the three most entertaining revelations to immediately come off the top of this husky, extended volume of heretofore unseen Nixonian-era behind closed doors crapola, and/or subsequently (till now) mostly unheard cry for help madness.
*GEORGE SEGAL SUPERSTAR - During his second year in office, President Nixon very publicly went viral with his repeatedly announced preference for the soon to be Academy Award-winning film, "Patton." So much so that during a strange but true two-week stretch of time during June 1970, the White House copy of the film ran 24/7, much to the delight of the Commander in Chief (and the six hand picked members of the Secret Service assigned to make sure he never ran out of Milk Duds and ginger ale) every time the Chief Executive found it necessary to pop in for a quick adrenalin rush pick-me-up. Which is exactly what he consistently got from watching George C. Scott's do to the Huns what he himself was hoping to accomplish with his ever-changing, always re-formulated, hell bent for victory intentions with regards to what was then happening on the still raging Viet Nam war front sideshow.
What apparently wasn't known was that Nixon had somehow also quickly developed a sort of overly-infatuated brother-like thing for standard issue trauma drama guy George Segal, who, at the time, was quite popular, having found a certain amount of recent scratch the head success following the release of the modest World War II faux epic, "The Bridge at Remagen" in 1969.
Needless to say, Nixon's over-the-top, cloak and dagger, man crush for the reliable, yet decidedly quirky, ethnic too-friendly, leading man, eventually soared to new and improved heights throughout 1970 due to the fact that Segal had a banner year with "Loving," "The Owl and the Pussycat," and "Where's Poppa?" all arriving just in time to collectively get improperly overlooked come Oscar time.
All of which appealed greatly to Nixon's rather undisguised ability to relate to anyone left outside the box, or sentenced to an otherwise gloomy existence as a publicly rejected loner.
Consequently, Nixon reached out and made every effort to bring the totally bewildered Segal into his inner sanctum circle whenever it came time to lie low at the western White House in San Clemente. Thereby proving, quite convincingly, that apparently just watching "Laugh-In" and playing Chutes and Ladders with Bebe Rebozo wasn't what the humble man from Whittier had in mind when he took the Presidential oath of office back in January of 1969.
In any case, what came out of the Nixon - Segal connection (besides, of course, lots of after hours piano and banjo playing) was a sort of ever so slick Abbott and Costello-like camaraderie that eventually would re-surface for Segal during his on-screen back and forth banter with Elliot Gould in Robert Altman's "California Split," and, even more famously with Nixon during his legendary one on one series of interview taffy pulls with preening gabfast newsmaker wannabe David Frost.
Meanwhile, according to some of the more pertinent DickiLeak memos, all of this might have been a whole lot different had Mrs. Nixon ever been allowed to follow through with any of her own semi-closeted wishes to join in when it came time to mix it up with the Hollywood crowd.
"Just be glad you know who has no say in the matter," cautioned Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, in a handwritten note (on a cocktail napkin from a Georgetown bistro) to Winnie Mitterwald of the White House secretarial pool. "It could have been worse, had little Miss Tight Lip been able to convince the old man that Richard Benjamin was more his cup a tea."
This desire of the First Lady to venture even further out on a limb of questionable cinematic taste would eventually reach it's rather unblinking height (in response to her husband's increasingly reckless tendency to parade around the White House on weekend nights in a gorilla costume much like Segal wore in "Where's Poppa?" when attempting to scare his mother - Ruth Gordon - to death) during the early part of 1972, when she made yet another push to bring one more unsuspecting thespian into the conflicted confines of her primary residence on Pennsylvania Avenue.
"Who is this Seymour Cassel?" asked White House Chief of Staff H.R. Halderman in a memo to longtime Nixon confidant the Rev. Billy Graham, "And what in the blue blazes of all of hell, pardon my Serbian, is a Minnie & Moskowitz?"
*"OH, FOR CHRISTSAKE, JUST LET 'EM PLAY PING PONG!" - Or, at least those were thought, for years, to be the only obvious words issued by Mrs. Nixon, during a rather awkward and lengthy pause, while otherwise attempting to enjoy what little she could while on the infamous Pacific overtures trip she and the president made to the People's Republic of China, in February 1972.
And, although much of the First Lady's somewhat abrupt and no nonsense sentiment no doubt came about because of President Nixon's botched attempt to convince both Chairman Mao and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai that a more solid and convincing relationship between China and the U.S. would be forever cemented if they would see fit to adopt lawn darts as their primary national game, rather than use a variation of it as a standard bit of police procedural tactics out in the rural provinces and backwoods highlands, the simple truth of the matter was that, at the moment, said words were heard, Mrs.Nixon was in desperate need of another pre-banquet re-fill of her simply stunning Ming Dynasty adult beverage tumbler.
And so, not exactly smoothly, proceeded to announce, none too shyly to the world, as such.
"Like everyone else there," wrote Mrs. Nixon's traveling hair stylist, Roscoe Vasco da Gama, in a memo to longtime D.C. chum, congressional page Nicky Sizemore, "I did what I could to look the other way when she said, 'Who do I have to f&$k around here to get another one of those whatever they weres, hmmm?' Meanwhile, if it weren't for my quick thinking, she wouldn't have had a five to flip to the surprisingly pint-sized Mongolian server when he finally arrived with some more of what turned out to be really good stuff."
*NOLO CONTENDERE, THIS! - As if Vice President Sprio Agnew didn't already have enough trouble swirling around his bad old hatchet man self throughout much of 1973. Things suddenly took a major turn for the worse on Monday October 8, during a misguided after hours attempt to cash in on a poorly thought out side bet he'd made with an attractive mother and daughter cocktail waitress team, who apparently were responsible for serving things above board (and all the way under the table) during a rollicking National League Championship Series Game 3 (Cincinnati Reds vs. New York Mets) viewing party at a Ground Round Grill & Bar in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
In other words, leave it to the bumbling, ill-fated V.P. to wind up getting most if not all of the business end of his full-tilt nattering nabob caught in the zipper of his only partially removed trousers, and quickly be forced into an anything but virtual living hell, and, ultimately not be able to do anything about it until way after the fact.
Meaning, of course, that for nearly the next day and a half (or, until his swiftly arranged resignation could be set up and properly dispensed with) Agnew was required to outfit the entire portion of his heavily anguished below the Mason and Dixon line carriage in a successive, sometimes multi-series, of (hopefully) matching slacks in order to ward off any unnecessary attention to what had so obviously become a sore spot completely bear trapped at the crossroads (so to speak) right before his Harry was in position to officially met and greet Sally, halfway, as it turned out, to what woulda/shoulda been a brief, yet, satisfactory deportation to a pre-arranged destination within the as promised land, as otherwise specified by the conditions laid out at the onset of said wagering involving any and/or all of those seemingly willing to participate under the presumption of eventually going all in, or out, depending on who'd been assigned the at hand task to otherwise walk the dog.
"I'm sure it hurt the old boy like bloody hell in a hand basket," wrote Watergate Special Prosecutor Archibald Cox in a short memo to Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus. "But seriously, the dumb motherf&%#@er had it coming, or well, almost, but not quite. S&%t man, you know what I mean. And, based on all the wicked stuff that dumb f*&k (Mark) Felt at the bureau keeps trying to get me to take another long look at about you and your suddenly not so funny chorus line stuff with Wilber (Mills), I'm sure you do."
Meanwhile, apparently the only existing memo to otherwise reveal President Nixon's sideline opinion of the whole Agnew affair (commonly referred to as "The Tiger By The Tail Incident" in most, if not all, FBI and Secret Service briefs), was one that, for some reason, was never believed to have been officially delivered to, surprisingly enough, low on the totem pole Rat Packer, Joey Bishop.
After what appears to be an off-color joke at Peter Lawfords's expense, the meat of the matter, as far as Nixon's memo is concerned was, "Let me just say this about that, better him than me. Fact is, I got troubles of my own trying to holster a smoking gun, that someone - I can't say who - says I should at least find, before Kate Smith steps up to the mike. And, I don't mean that goofy a#% tool Mansfield from the great state of Montana!"
All in all, anything but a pretty picture, for sure.
But one (among many), which many will soon be forced to come to grips with, as these ongoing developments certainly promise to get even more down to the bottom of the barrel as the present tense-like WikiLeaks hornets nest continues to further unfold accordingly.
Especially during what is now shaping up to be one whale of an international Interpol-sanctioned manhunt for on the lamb WikiLeaks chief and bottle washer, Julian Assnage.
All of which will hopefully in no way shape or form disrupt and/or otherwise impact the self-contained tilt-a-whirl world of his mother Christine, and, of course, her continued efforts to have another yet another well attended successful season at oh so festive puppet theater somewhere hopefully not too far out in the open in Queensland, Australia.
In other words, back to the case of the "DickiLeaks," thanks, Bob. We (think) we needed that. But, then again, only you can provide the necessary around the clock spin to convince us that, in the end, we most certainly do.
Now, apparently, more than ever.