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Donald Trump: The Presidency and the Media
  • ISSN: 1466-0407
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9118

Abstract

The development of the miniseries as a TV genre during the 1970s became central to American television’s dramatization of the nation’s history through stories that combined fact and fiction to relate the past to contemporary US culture. Rarely considered, however, is the ways in which increasing slippages between the screen and real-world events might work to presage the culture and politics of the future, illuminating historical connections that move beyond a television drama’s moment of production. This article explores the 1977 ABC miniseries , an adaptation of John Ehrlichman’s novel and its fictional tale of a Nixon-like president, drawing on the author’s experiences as part of the Nixon administration. Emerging in the contexts of the historical miniseries and various screen depictions of Watergate, the show became part of a blurring of the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction in the re-telling of Richard Nixon’s doomed tenure as president. At the same time, the article contends, the explicit fictionalization of the nation’s recent political history in provides a space in which to read the show as a prescient imagining of the United States’ political future later realized in the presidency of Donald Trump.

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2022-06-01
2024-06-13
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