White House 1985 Christmas Special

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Merry Christmas everyone! 

Wait - can we say that?

Well, maybe not now, but back in 1985 - hell yeah! Not only could you say Merry Christmas until you vomited red and white, but you could sing about Santa AND Baby Jesus on prime time TV.

Damn! Those were the days. 

Sound intriguing? Hold on - what if we threw in a Russian defector, Pat Boone and Emmanuel Lewis into the mix. Holy Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer - that's a hell of a special. It's our first ever Christmas special and you're not going to want to miss this one. 

PLUS - Harmon and Scott discuss the Judge Roy Moore election, Trump craziness and who - exactly - is a puppet. And to top it all off, we plug Harmon's just published book Meet the Deplorables, now available on Amazon. 

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

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Ronald Reagan Talks Turkey

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Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Wishing all of our listeners the best this holiday season. Actually just listeners in the US, because in the rest of the world there is no Thanksgiving and today is just a normal day. 

But we're not letting that stop us in bringing you the very best in US presidential holiday spirit!

So we dug into the archives to find today's presidential tape from November 18, 1981 - President Reagan's first Thanksgiving in office. 

Today's tape captures the traditional ceremony as the leaders of the National Turkey Federation presented President Reagan with a holiday gobbler, an occasion that stretches back into the Eisenhower presidency. 

In our special holiday episode we delve into the White House Turkey Presentation and how the tradition of pardoning the presidential turkeys started, get the latest updates on the current president's latest Twitter battle, discuss the merits of various Tom Hanks movies and plug Trumpcon in NYC - a festival of YUGE - proportions. 

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You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

The Beginning of the End for Nixon (and Trump)?

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If you had to pick the beginning of the end for President Nixon, the date of June 13, 1971 might be the front running candidate. That was the day that the New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, a top secret study commissioned by Defense Secretary Robert McNamera in 1967 which basically said that the US had f**ked up in Vietnam. And badly. 

After the story about the Papers broke, Nixon became very concerned about leaks coming out of his administration.

Which, in turn, led to him creating the Plumbers unit to stop the leaks (get it?). The Plumbers eventually became frustrated with the lack of action and began to pester the Nixon White House for more jobs to do. One of the last jobs assigned to the Plumbers was to plant listening devices into the Democratic headquarters, located in the Watergate Hotel, almost exactly a year later in June, 1972. 

In this episode's phone call, a nonplussed Nixon gets word about the Pentagon Papers from General Alexander Haig. But is it really possible the president wasn't aware of the impact of the New York Times story? Or was he lying? 

That's what Harmon and Scott will be discussing in this episode. We'll also touch on how this reflects on President Trump and what the recent arrests mean for the Trump White House. 

Also in this episode: the World Series, New York City open container laws, 80s sitcom starrs and Scott learns that there is a bona fide cast member from The Apprentice in Trump's White House Staff. 

This episode sponsored by BLACKBX. Running a restaurant, bar, pub or retail business? Offer your customers fast, free and secure wireless while gaining awesome customer insights.

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You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

The head of IBM and the Stewardess Incident

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Boys will be boys, right? The press caught President Trump on tape talking about "grabbing 'em by the pussy" and he still got elected. 

Turns out things back in the 1970s weren't that much different.

That's when columnist Jack Anderson was about to spill the beans on Ambassador to France Arthur K. Watson. Watson, the son of the founder of IBM, had gradually been forced out of the company his father built and had to settle on a career in US Government service. On a flight in 1971from London to Washington, DC, he got rip roaring drunk, demanded to be served a bottle of Scotch and started shoving money down the blouses of Pan-Am stewardesses. 

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President Nixon discussed the incident with his Chief of Staff, HR Haldeman in the Oval Office and the conversation has been helpfully preserved by the White House taping system. 

Like with President Trumps locker room conversation caught on tape, Nixon and Haldeman agree that there's nothing with having a few drinks and chasing girls. The main thing that they're in agreement that it's better than chasing boys. 

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Episode 26: Gerald Ford Talks to his Rocketman

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On Episode 26 of  TITP, we decided to jump forward in time a little bit to the Polyester Decade - the 1970s.

On July 17, 1975 the United States and the Soviet Union were both doing their bit for international peace and harmony with the Apollo/Soyuz Project. The United States and the Soviet Union both launched their most advanced spacecraft at the time with the goal of a space rendezvous and docking of the two command modules so the astronauts and cosmonauts could meet in space. 

We're not really sure what the fuss was all about, but it seemed like a pretty good idea at the time. After the two spacecraft successfully docked, the space crews toasted to a thaw in the Cold War and were treated to a congratulatory phone call from the United States only non-elected President and Warren Commission member, Gerald R. Ford. 

We'd also like to welcome our first sponsor to This is the President, BLACKBX. Are you running a business and offering your customers free Wi-Fi? Don't leave money sitting on the table - BLACKBX is cost effective solution to gather information over WiFi. Get real time information about customers. track new / return visits, identify peak visit times, create a customer mailing list and generate that all important monthly recurring revenue.

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You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 25 - The President, The FBI and The Tapes

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Or maybe they don't. 

In light of some of the recent tussles between the Trump White House and the FBI, we dug back into the presidential vaults to go back to a simpler time. A time when the President and the head of the FBI weren't at each others throats and were, in fact, good buddies. 

That's in this weeks episode as we head back to August of 1964 to listen in to President Johnson congratulate FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover on the successful arrest of the murderers of three civil rights workers in Mississippi. Marvel at how NICE they're being to each other! We're not going to spoil the ending, but President Johnson makes a touching request of Hoover that will bring a tear to even the most jaded eye. 

Before that, Harmon and Scott take a stroll through 1960s history, touching on Woody Allen films, the soundtrack to Antonioni's seminal 1966 film Blow Up, James Bond, and Hugh Hefner, before moving on to the UK elections and Larry the Cable Guy. 

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 24 - FDR and the Pearl Harbor Conspiracy

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TRIGGER WARNING: The President uses the "J" word a lot in this recording. 

Did FDR know about Pearl Harbor in advance?

That's the burning question that we're answering in this episode of This is the President. 

In today's instalment, Scott and Harmon travel back in time to October, 1940 to listen in on some of the oldest presidential tapes available in the archives.

Originally setup to record a presidential press conference (held in the Oval Office, no less) someone "accidentally" forgot to turn off the tape recorder.

The result is we get to listen in on some of President Roosevelt's most private conversations with an unknown individual.

So, did FDR know about Pearl Harbor? Take a listen and decide for yourself. 

Also in this episode: the latest Trump news from NYC and Scott and Harmon do their Walter Winchell impressions. 

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 23 - Richard Nixon's Drunk Phone Call

Sometimes, even a President has to cut loose and toss back a few cold ones. Or more than a few.

Or maybe a couple of bottles.

Because that's certainly how President Nixon sounds in our phone call for Episode 23 of This is the President.

Today we're setting the wayback machine for April 30, 1973. That was the day that President Nixon made his first TV speech about the "Watergate Affair."

It was during this speech that dear old President Nixon started throwing his friends under the bus in order to clear himself of any wrongdoing. One of the first to go was his right hand man, HR Haldeman

But letting go wasn't that easy for Dick, as we see in this phone call. After giving the speech and receiving a few phone calls from supporters such as future presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush, Nixon turned to his old pal Haldeman (who he'd just fired, remember) to ask for his help in gathering the mood of the country. Not the most diplomatic of moves, but easily forgiven for someone who sounds like they might have been on the silly juice. 

Was the President drunk or not? Have a listen for yourself! 

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 22: Behind the Scenes Special

To mark our 22nd podcast we wanted to do something a little special - in this case, give you, our listener, a little peek at what goes on behind the scenes when these presidential recordings are made. 

We don't want to spoil the surprise too much by giving away any names, but just make sure you're sitting down when listening to this episode. 

Also in this episode, Harmon opens his porch door to let in the first signs of NYC spring, we discuss the pizza principle and President Trumps penchant for using outdated 1990s catchphrases in his tweets. 

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 21 - Bill Clinton, Michael Jackson and Monica Lewinsky

Ah....the heady days of 1993....when the Internet was but a gleam in Al Gore's eye, the heady days of Clintonism were just getting underway and the Buffalo Bills became the first team in history to lose three consecutive Super Bowls. Memories....

Yes, we're slowly inching toward the 21st century with our first ever phone call from President William Jefferson Clinton.

In this weeks call, from January 31, 1993, newly elected President Clinton phones the locker room of the Rose Bowl to congratulate the Dallas Cowboys for their triumphant win over Buffalo - 52 to 17. Watching with Clinton in the White House are Texas Governor Ann Richards and New York Governor Mario Cuomo. At one point, Richards (sounding a little tipsy) starts getting threatening towards Cuomo but - as in true This is the President fashion - everything works out in the end. 

Also stick around for Harmon Leon's Presidential Impressions, This Week's Trump News, and a sneak preview of some of our upcoming episodes featuring none other than Monica Lewinsky. (We realize that was a little click-baity to put her in the title. But she's in the episode. Honest. Also, she hasn't sent out any tweets since last year.)

Got a comment or suggestion? You can drop us a line here or reach Scott and Harmon on Twitter! Oh yeah - and there's a brand new Donate button at the top. These tapes ain't going to buy themselves.  

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 20 - President Reagan Goes Back to the Future with Jerry Lewis

Howdy everyone! 

This is the President returns after a short break with one of our most celebrity packed episodes ever! 

Today's phone call is from September 2, 1984 and features President Reagan talking to none other than the celebrated French filmmaker, Jerry Lewis! 

Once upon a time, there was an event called the Muscular Distrophy Labor Day telethon. Started back in the early 1960s and hosted by Lewis (until he left under a cloud in 2010), the telethon would drag on for over twenty hours with a cavalcade of celebrities appealing to the audience to part with their cash. As the night continued, these celebrities eventually gave way to a host of B-performers and faded vaudevillian acts.  

Our phone call takes place during Lewis' famous Labor Day Telethon.

But before they start pumping for donations, the two old friends have a chance to reminisce about the olden days when they worked at rival studios and used to live down the street from each other in Pacific Palisades. 

However - not all goes according to plan - and a power struggle ensues. The end result? You'll just have to listen for yourself. 

We also take a chance to explore the Back to the Future relevance to this clip, Trump's recent wiretapping allegations, and New Jersey's next up and rising political star, Joe Piscopo

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 19 - Richard Nixon Understands Homosexuality

It's our Valentine's Day episode of This is the President!

Our presidential tape in this episode comes Straight Outta the Oval Office from way back in 1971. This tape was also one of the original batch of Watergate recordings. The issue of national importance that has Nixon so worked up is the portrayal of homosexuality on the hit sitcom "All in the Family."

Because this tape was recorded in an office and not from a phone call, the quality isn't great, but you should be able to work out most of Mr. Nixon's rant. To help put the conversation into context, we've dropped in some sound bytes from the episode in question, entitled, appropriately enough, "Judging Books By Covers."  

Because Twitter hadn't been invented yet, Mr. Nixon resorts to bitching to his Chief of Staff, HR Haldeman.  Much like President Trump, President Nixon doesn't have a whole lot of nice things to say about the media. It's nice to see that some things never change. 

Also in the episode, the latest updates from the streets of NYC and Edinburgh. Also, Harmon's Presidential Impression takes us back to the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal of the 1990s where we touch briefly on the "Cigar Incident" which you can relive here

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 18 - Inauguration Special

Yes, it's really happened. 

On January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump will be sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. 

But rather than deal in doom and gloom, we here at This is the President have turned back the clock back once again to take a look at inaugurations past during a simpler time.

In this case, January 19, 1973, the day before Richard M. Nixon was to be sworn in for his second term.

In this call, we'll touch on subjects such as Tricky Dick's "interesting" connection to the Marriott hotel chain, the Nixonburger and that mysterious gap in the Watergate tapes that helped bring down the president. 

As always - we'll also have Harmon's Presidential Impression, Presidential Tweets and a way too in depth discussion of the 1990 Gerard Depardieu movie vehicle, "Green Card." 

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well! 

Episode 17 - Trump Tweets and Lone Star Beer

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Happy 2017 Everyone!

In keeping with the New Year theme, we dug up this call from President Lyndon Johnson to Lone Star Beer magnate Harry Jersig on January 1, 1964 to get your year started off right.

But don't think that's all we've got for you - oh no!

In addition to such popular segments as the "Whether or not Weather Report" and "Harmon's Presidential Impressions" we're introducing what we think is going to be our killer new feature - Presidential Tweets!

That's right, in each episode Harmon and I read out and analyse our favorite tweet from the soon-to-be 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump!  

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes and now over at Google Play as well!