Austin Hill

It’s difficult to imagine that he was surprised by the outcome.

But the White House response that ensued after Author and Journalist Bob Woodward dared to question and criticize the President should be an eye-opener to the world. And the fact that America’s beltway media culture has essentially “sided” with the President and seems quite comfortable with the White House hostility is a very telling sign.

Consider the relationship between the presidency and the press over the course of American history. Believe it or not, the White House has been home to lots of outlandish and at times illegal behavior over the past two hundred years or so, much of which was known to White House reporters at the time but was never reported.

I wouldn’t have believed this, necessarily, until I began researching and writing my first book “White House: Confidential” back in 2005. It was at that time that it became glaringly apparent to me that everything changed in this important relationship during the Nixon presidency. And that very necessary change was mostly brought about by Bob Woodward, and his former Washington Post colleague Carl Bernstein.

First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln, conducted séances at the White House in an attempt to “contact the spirit” of their son William, who died at the age of twelve while Lincoln was still President. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt recruited and hired White House reporter Lorena Hickok, and the two of them lived together at the White House in what many believe was a lesbian relationship.

Senator Warren G. Harding was widely known to have had a mistresses and an out-of-wedlock child. So before he was recruited to run for President, his party – the Republican Party – paid the mistress to leave the country until his presidency was completed (she returned after Harding died in office).

President and former Senator James Buchanan, America’s only bachelor President, was known to have shared bedroom quarters during his congressional days with Senator (and future Vice President) William R. King (the press called them “Mr. Buchanan and Aunt Fancy”). And our two Presidents Adams – John, and his son John Quincy- were so ticked-off about being un-elected after one term in office that the both left town a day before their presidencies were completed, and didn’t attend the inaugurations of their respective predecessors.


Austin Hill

Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.