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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

 
Ratfucking for dummies

by digby



Regarding Trump's obsessive CNN horseshit I can't help but be reminded of this scene from All The President's Men, from Goldman's first draft of the screenplay:

WOODWARD and BERNSTEIN walking in the rain. It's pouring as they leave FBI Headquarters and they are in anguish.

BERNSTEIN
(after a while)
Woodward?

WOODWARD
Hmm?

BERNSTEIN
What was the mistake? Do you think
it's been rigged, all along the way,
leading us on so they could slip it
to us when it mattered? They couldn't
have set us up better; after all
these months our credibility's gone,
you know what that means?

WOODWARD
(nods)
Only everything...

They are soaked, Nearby is a garbage can, they grab papers, hold them over their heads, start to walk. Now--

CAMERA MOVES UP HIGHER TO REVEAL

The papers they grabbed were the Post front page. (This
happened.) And as they walked, the Haldeman story was on their heads. HOLD on the reporters walking miserably through the rain. Now--

CUT TO:

THE POST.

A tremendous pall has settled on the city room. People walk by, glancing at WOODWARD and BERNSTEIN, who sit almost immobilized at their desks, wet, whipped; no energy left.

CUT TO:

BRADLEE'S OFFICE. SIMONS sits across from BRADLEE as ROSENFELD
enters quietly with a bundle of teletype paper.

SIMONS
(indicating the papers)
More denunciations?

ROSENFELD
(nods)
One Senator just gave a speech
slurring us 57 times in 20 minutes.

BRADLEE has started typing something brief. When ROSENFELD's done, so is he. He hands it to SIMONS.

SIMONS
What's this?

BRADLEE
My non-denial denial.

ROSENFELD
We're not printing a retraction?

CUT TO:

CLOSE UP--BRADLEE. He is thoughtful for a while. Then, spinning around, staring out towards the newsroom:

BRADLEE
Fuck it, let's stand by the boys.

And he stands, spins out of the room as we

CUT TO:

THE FLOWER POT ON WOODWARD'S TERRACE.

The rain has stopped. The apartment is dark. It's late at
night. Inside, the phone RINGS and

CUT TO:

WOODWARD'S APARTMENT in the dark as he manages to knock the phone off its cradle.

WOODWARD
Hello?

BERNSTEIN'S VOICE (O.S.)
What'd you find?

WOODWARD
Jesus Christ, what time is it?

BERNSTEIN
You overslept?

WOODWARD
Goddamnit!--

He fumbles for the lamp, as it falls with a CRASH--

CUT TO:

WOODWARD--MOVING. Hair wild, clothes half-buttoned, he runs through the dark Washington streets as we

CUT TO:

TWO WELL-DRESSED MEN in the shadows across the street, going in the same direction and

CUT TO:

WOODWARD spotting them, picking up the pace and

CUT TO:

THE TWO MEN moving faster too and now

CUT TO:

A BUNCH OF CABS. WOODWARD jumps into the first and as it roars off

CUT TO:

THE TWO MEN getting into a cab also, roaring off in the same direction and

CUT TO:

WOODWARD'S CAB taking a corner fast and as it goes on, HOLD until the second cab takes the same corner, faster, and now

CUT TO:

WOODWARD jumping out of his cab, fumbling into his pockets for change as we

CUT TO:

THE TWO MEN getting out of their cab, paying, and as their cab drives off

CUT TO:

WOODWARD diving back into his cab and in a moment it is roaring again through the night and we

CUT TO:

THE TWO WELL-DRESSED MEN standing on the sidewalk, watching as WOODWARD disappears into the night and then suddenly,

ZOOM TO:

DEEP THROAT IN CLOSE UP AND MAD.

DEEP THROAT
--you were doing so well and then
you got stupid, you went too fast--
Christ, what a royal screw up--

PULL BACK TO REVEAL

DEEP THROAT and WOODWARD in the underground garage.

WOODWARD
--I know, I know, the pressure's off
the White House and it's all back on
the Post--

DEEP THROAT
--you've done worse than let Haldeman
slip away, you've got people feeling
sorry for him--I didn't think that
was possible. A conspiracy like this--
the rope has to tighten slowly around
everyone's neck. You build from the
outer edges and you go step by step.
If you shoot too high and miss, then
everybody feels more secure. You've
put the investigation back months.

WOODWARD
We know that--and if we were wrong,
we're resigning--were we wrong?

DEEP THROAT
You'll have to find that out, won't
you?--

.