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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

16 min out of 250 hrs of Watergate Hearings

This is what my father did the entire summer of 1973: watched the Senate Watergate hearings.
(He was a professor of political science and, as usual, had the summer off teaching.)
Could one call this a bizarre sort of political fandom???

I remember coming in and out of the house, and he was always sitting there on the couch, watching our black-and-white TV in the darkened living room. (Darkened for coolness, and also so he could see the screen better.)

"The Watergate hearings began on May 17, 1973. Public Television aired all 250 hours of testimony that summer. Here are some of the highlights. Video edited by Justin Scuiletti":


7 comments:

marz said...

A guy in the background of the first clip is wearing a pink shirt with a bicentennial tie. It reminds me of what the news anchor on ABC's bicentennial coverage wore. Modified stars and stripes in the form of maroon, baby blue, and that exact same shade of pink. **IMPORTANT INFORMATION**

Michael Leddy said...

I remember watching hours of this stuff in the summer — I was still in high school. Sam Ervin certainly had his fans. (I was one.) I remember seeing Maureen Dean sitting with a mask-like face behind her husband as he testified. I just discovered that she's in a B-52s song, "Is That You Mo-Dean?"

The previous summer was Fischer-Spassky. Imagine "watching" a chess game on television in real time, as the moves came to NY from Reykjavik on a teletype machine. Is that fandom?

Fresca said...

MARZ: Yes! Interesting details. It's all theater: clothes signify important stuff.

MICHAEL: I didn't pay close attention (I was going into 8th grade), but I used to know who was who (sort of)--John Dean, for sure! They all kind of looked the same...

I remember the famous chess game too--there was a lot of feeling about that in the air.

What is fandom? Or, maybe, what isn't fandom?
I'll be specifically looking at "participatory" fandom---the fans who produce and create an interact as a result of their fandoms---so, say, fans who started to play chess, or make chess sets, or write Fischer/Spassky fanfic!

(Or become burglars and presidents?
Actually, Marz tells me Christ Carter said his TV show The X-Files was inspired by his feelings about Watergate!)

Zhoen said...

Sending this to Dylan, who wrote his thesis on Watergate issues.

I remember the hearings being on, and my mother complaining about them.

Frex said...

Z: Watergate stuff is kind of like homecoming for some of us who had it in our lives, eh?

bink said...

So familiar, yet so distant.

Fresca said...

BINK: Let's do the time warp agaaaain!