Hear what Robert Redford had to say on the red carpet.
WASHINGTON – A fresh look at the Watergate scandal hits TVs this weekend.
Robert Redford produced and co-starred in “All The President’s Men” in 1976, and he’s executive producer of a new Discovery Channel special called “All The President’s Men Revisited”.
Speaking on the red carpet before an invitation-only screening Thursday night at the Newseum, Redford said he initially said no to the project.
“I turned it down to begin with. I said, no, leave it alone. I’m not big on sequels or anything like that. Let’s just leave it alone, and they pushed hard to say ‘well, let’s look at it from the standpoint of what it was like then and then maybe the audience can compare it with the way it is today,’ and I thought, well, that makes sense.”
Redford said the special will take viewers back to the Nixon era.
“We’re revisiting that time, that place, those people, which includes the condition of the country including Congress at that time.”
The two-hour special includes interviews with Redford, actor Dustin Hoffman and the Washington Post reporters they portrayed in the film, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
There are also interviews with former Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, NBC News’ Tom Brokaw and Nixon speechwriter and actor Ben Stein.
Also on the red carpet, Bob Woodward shared his take on journalism.
“It’s the greatest job in the world. You get to make momentary entries into people’s lives when they’re interesting, and then get out when they cease to be interesting.”
But he says today, the media is polarized.
“I think one of the big questions today is what can the media do to provide reliable, non-partisan information that will make viewers, readers, people more inclined to trust what they’re reading and seeing rather than to immediately say ‘Oh, that has to be B.S.'”
He says the Discovery Channel special is worth checking out.
“This is a real, genuine examination not just of the reporting, but of Nixon. Who was Nixon? That question pulses through all of Watergate. I think it’s going to pulse through all of history. Nixon in many ways is his tapes, and on his tapes you see the mindset and the criminal president abusing power.”
On the red carpet, Carl Bernstein told WTOP his feelings about Twitter’s popularity as a news source.
“It’s a witnessing tool at it’s best, and at it’s worst it’s a tool of misinformation and disinformation that’s used by people often with a partisan or ideological notion to just throw something out there with very little context. It’s used to exaggerate. It’s not a contextual tool, so it’s got real limitations,” he said.
“What I’m concerned about is how young people seem to think that this constitutes news, and rely on it as a source of information as opposed to longer form, better reported, real reported news which is the best obtainable version of the truth,” Bernstein added.
“You’re not going to get that on Twitter.”
All the President’s Men Revisited airs at 8 p.m. Sunday on the Discovery Channel.
Read more about the special and see more video clips here.