Sunday, May 1, 2011

Wake-Up Special

Atlantic City, 

Some believe the adversarial relationship between the press and the White House started with Watergate, the political scandal that led to the resignation of President Nixon in 1974. However, there were already signs of strain in the 1960s when the term “credibility gap” came into widespread use, describing skepticism over the veracity of the Johnson administration’s public assessments of the Vietnam War. Although it may not be possible to pinpoint an exact date, trouble began soon after the first large-scale military deployment in March 1965, when the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade landed at Da Nang.

Six months earlier, when President Johnson accepted his party’s nomination (coincidentally, on his 56th birthday), the press corps could still be depended upon not to reveal too much to the American people, such as photographing FDR in his wheel chair, or digging too deeply into JFK’s peccadilloes. The menu below, dated August 27, 1964, captures the spirit of that somnolent era. Featuring a typewriter and microphone in place of the presidential seal, it was made by the White House staff for members of the press covering the last day of the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City. Ironically, this breakfast opens with a “Campaign Promise” and ends with a “Wake-up Special.”

1 comment:

jeanne said...

Love this! I know a radio reporter who may have been there! Will have to ask him!