Fear and Loathing in Crazytown

So legendary reporter Bob Woodward’s book about the Trump presidency is released on September 11 - do you think they’re trying to tell us something?

I didn’t ever thank we’d get an actual President Trump phone call on this podcast - at least, not while he was in office, but, sometimes history works in mysterious ways.

In this episode of This is the President, Harmon and I will be discussing some of the best parts of the recent Bob Woodward/President Trump tape that was released recently. We’re almost on top of the news cycle!

But presidential hatred of reporters and The Washington Post is nothing new, as you’ll hear when we listen in on what President Nixon has to say about journalists as we take the Presidential Time Portal back to 1972.

We’ve even updated our opening song with brand, spanking new Trump sound bites.

This is one episode you don’t want to miss!

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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 13 - Wear Your Long Johns

Did you know that President Reagan had a brother?

Neither did I.

But he did and in this episode of This is the President, we get to hear the two siblings talk about the legendary O'Malley brothers and the weather in Dixon, Illinois.

Did we mention the fact that these aren't all winners? 

Joining me on this episode is our guest Harmon Leon, who, in addition to his presidential phone call commentary, provides us with post election updates from the home of Donald J. Trump, New York City. 

But don't let the phone call subject matter scare you off - in this episode you'll get the inside scoop of Ronald Reagan's connection to John Cusack, hear Harmon's legendary Ronald Reagan impression and get in on the ground floor of SNL alum Joe Piscopo's Republican candidacy. 

Episode 11 - The Original October Surprise - Part 1

The revelation of the "grab 'em by the p***y" tape from presidential candidate Donald Trump might have stymied his chances for election when it was leaked this month, but it's not the first time a candidate has been blindsided by what's become known as the October Surprise. 

The history of the October Surprise goes all the way back to 1964 - the same year that the Beatles landed on the U.S. shores - when one of President Johnson's closest aides was caught getting "friendly" with another man in the basement of a Y.M.C.A bathroom in Washington, D.C. 

Luckily for history, the ensuing telephone calls among the White House staff were all caught on tape and preserved for history - and this podcast. 

I originally did this as a video for Vanity Fair, but thought there was some good stuff that got left out, so I've packed it into a podcast with a couple of extra tidbits. 

Be sure to check out Part 2 of The Original October Surprise here! 

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes

Episode 9 - The Other N Word

On August 18, 1967, President Johnson placed a phone call to Baltimore Mayor Theodore McKeldin asking him to come and help out in the Federal government in Washington. During the call, he also asked the Mayor to help him find a "young, able, negro" to take a place in the government as well.

This short phone call highlights some of the country's thoughts about race at the time and also shows firsthand, the "Johnson Technique" that LBJ would use to grind down his opponents. 

For the first time, I'm joined by special guest Harmon Leon, a comedian here in town for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival performing, appropriately enough "Harmon Leon's Big Fat Racist Show." 

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes

Episode 8 - Ronald Reagan vs. The Kidnapper

Yes, you read that right. In this episode of The Is The President, Ronald Reagan gets tough with a kidnapper. 

Way back on October 22, 1983, unemployed pipe fitter Charles Harris (at left), rammed his pickup truck through an unmanned gate at the Augusta golf course where Reagan was playing on the 16th hole, took a number of hostages and demanded to speak to the President. 

Luckily for us, the conversations were recorded. 

So get ready for a trip back to the 80s and check out our latest episode. 

You can also subscribe to the podcast over at iTunes