Many of the horrific and impactful terminology used in the scandals today are reported from the Watergate incident. Such as "bombshell" (explosive event) and "smoking gun" (iron certificate). Since then, we have measured controversy like noise decibels and judged the amazing events of “hot” and “hot”.
But for a 2019 audience, watching the entire public television broadcast of the first Senate hearing that began on May 17, 1973, the most striking thing is its quietness.
There is no gorgeous opening screen, only a Senate resolution read out in the solemn timpani. There is no noisy newsroom discussion group, no countdown clock, no social media tags. There was only one testimony in a quiet hearing room, and two whispered moderators sat at the boring desk trying to figure out what the president knew, when he knew it, and whether democracy was still valid.
You can watch all 1973 public TV shows at the American Archive for Public Broadcasting - 51 days, 6 hours a night. (The site also adds links to important events, such as John Dean, who said that "there is a tumor in the president's position.")
你可以在美国公共广播档案馆(American Archive for Public Broadcasting)观看所有1973年的公共电视节目——51天，每晚6小时。（网站还贴心地加了一些重要事件的链接，比如约翰·迪恩[John Dean]称“总统之位上长了一个肿瘤”。)
This is a rabbit hole that is not afraid of being spoiled, even if you know how the finale is, you will be fascinated. On Wednesday, our own impeachment series premiered, like a time travel, to experience how different our media and politics are in the tone and tone of the past 50 years.
In 1973, the National Public Affairs Center For Television broadcast an unedited full hearing video for 15 consecutive weeks during prime time. When using Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil to host the show, the public television station conducted the experiment, "because we believe that you have the opportunity to see the whole thing and do it." It’s important to make your own judgment. On some nights, our show may be able to compete with late night movies.”
1973年，国家公共事务中心电视台(National Public Affairs Center For Television)在黄金时段连续15周播放了未经编辑的完整听证会录像。用吉姆·莱勒(Jim Lehrer)与罗伯特·麦克尼尔(Robert MacNeil)主持节目时的话说，公共电视台进行这项实验，“是因为我们认为，让你有机会看到整件事，并做出自己的判断，是很重要的。有些晚上，我们的节目也许可以跟深夜电影一较高下。”
The movie can be watched later. The audience followed the plot turning around the whole night and watched the birth of political celebrities and anti-heroes. They accepted it slowly, instead of treating the disappointing Netflix, because it didn't happen in the first five hours and gave up. They sent out a lot of donations, cards and letters to PBS. One viewer wrote: "I am sleeping at work now, I don't care."
Compared to the painful suffering caused by the Watergate incident, the hearing itself is elegant. The committee’s Democratic leader, Senator Sam J. Ervin Jr., read the opening remarks with a drag. He once read the word "suspicion" with a very deliberate tone. If this happens today, it will immediately become a viral spread of Mihm, a discussion about "sight", and perhaps a presidential tweet writes. "Zhu Ba Sam can't even read his own script! Political persecution!!!"
相比水门事件带来的痛苦折磨，听证会本身堪称优雅斯文。委员会的民主党领袖、参议员小山姆·J·欧文(Sam J. Ervin Jr.)用拖腔慢吞吞地读着开场白。他一度用极为刻意的腔调读着“怀疑”这个词，这种事如果发生在今天，就会立即成为病毒式传播的米姆、有关“视力”的讨论，可能还有一条总统推文写道，“磕巴山姆连自己的剧本都读不对！政治迫害！！！”
As a moderator, McNeil and Lehrer are cautious and candid. They are not concerned with "views" or "how this will affect Nixon's ticket position," but actual developments and allegations: in McNeil's words, "a large number of illegal, immoral or inappropriate activities around President Nixon's re-election last year. Whether it has been confirmed, or is it just an accusation."
In other words, they believe that to be an honest middleman does not mean to use the "two-way" reciprocity in any dispute. This means that they are clear in their minds that the issues discussed here – using mean means to win elections – go beyond the “parties” or the interests they deserve.
Lehrer’s description of the day’s theme of the hearing was very clear – “How did the fundraiser of the Nixon campaign last year influenced the American business community, and how and why corporate executives acted on demand, even though it meant breaking the law”. This is not a sarcasm or a gesture. But this is concise English, without flashing words or beautification. Anyone who reports on the upcoming hearing should study hard.
In a way, this is a voice from the era of homogenization. (This is reflected in many aspects. At the 1973 hearing, the lens was white male; Senator Owen was an advocate of apartheid.) There was no Fox News, no CNN, or even C-SPAN. No YouTube, no TiVo, no Facebook. People receive a common baseline of information from the same (relatively) trusted source.
These sources feel that they have the responsibility and authority to announce when the warning lights on our system dashboards are flashing. People in all fields are willing to listen to them.
Today, people get the impeachment news from Rachel Maddow and Tucker Carlson, from late night shows and podcasts, from social media, like memory foam mattresses. The same source of information that fits their personal ideology.
今天，人们得到弹劾新闻将是从雷切尔·玛多(Rachel Maddow)和塔克·卡尔森(Tucker Carlson)那里，从深夜秀和播客中，从社交媒体上已经成形的、像记忆棉床垫一样符合他们个人意识形态的消息来源。
All of this has changed the political language. "Friendlyness" became a nostalgic sophistry, but in the 1973 lawsuit, you couldn't help but be impressed by it. I am not referring to the color of the Republican gardens, or the politeness of the Democrats, but a feeling of concealment that they feel obligated to speak to the people of the country, not just their own loyal supporters.
For example, Republican Senator Howard Baker stressed that the only possibility for his party to be "fatally hit" in the Watergate incident is "to let the public see the courage, perseverance and determination of our Republicans who have not cleaned up their own portals." .
Imagine any Republican today saying the same thing! Sean Hannity and the MAGA party on Twitter will drive it out of sight before sunset. (You don't need to believe me, you can ask Justin Amash.)
想象一下今天任何一个共和党人说同样一番话！肖恩·汉尼提(Sean Hannity)和Twitter上的MAGA党人会在日落之前把它逐出人们视野。（用不着信我的，可以去问贾斯汀·阿玛什[Justin Amash]。）
The debate on the Watergate event certainly has the elements of partisan politics, and today the United States has people who can be convinced. But more similar to today's hearings—although the accusations are quite different—may be the Bill Clinton impeachment between 1998 and 1999, when the political and media debates ended up more than what happened. But don't care.
Last week, public television veteran Bill Moyers and his partner Michael Winship urged the US Public Broadcasting Corporation (PBS) to broadcast a magazine hearing again during prime time. On the contrary, the TV network changed to streaming media on the grounds of over-selection, and replayed it in the digital channel world at night.
上周，公共电视台资深人士比尔·莫耶斯(Bill Moyers)和他的搭档迈克尔·温希普(Michael Winship)敦促美国公共广播公司(PBS)再次在黄金时段播出弹劾听证会。而电视网反而以现如今选择过剩为由，改为流媒体转播，并于晚间在数字频道世界台重播。
What is the value of today’s prime time replay? Of course: for those who can't watch cable TV or go online, or those who like the evening news without editing - for a long time, for hours - they don't want to see the news sliced, diced, chewed before .
But to some extent, the idea of ??a watergate replay of the hearing, although admirable, is also expressing a hope of returning to 1973: that is, we can regain that common concern and trust.
This is not to say that this year's hearing will have no effect or change people's minds. But they are not a collective experience. They will be the product of multimedia production, disorganized, instantly distorted, and absorbed by the audience, as if they were watching completely different programs.
This was not the case in November 1973, when Jim Lehrer announced the end of the last major broadcast, and he told the audience that they seemed to be a loyal fan of a long-running TV series that the whole people followed. He said that the committee may conduct a series of hearings after Thanksgiving. He said that at least the current plan is like this. But the long-time audience of all Watergate events knows that everything can change. The media is the same, and so is politics.