While the mini series "Behind Closed Doors" was very entertaining, I'm afraid it's going to give people a wrong impression of Washington. Since it was meant purely for entertainment, the producers took liberties with the way things work at the White House and in the rest of the town. This could damage the cause of clean honest government which the people in the country expect of Washington and fortunately get.
The idea of the film is a farfetched as anything ever seen on the TV screen. It is unthinkable that a president of the United States (in this case Jason Robards) would use his power and that of the CIA and the FBI as well as unsavory people in the White House to do harm to his political enemies. While this makes good theater, it obviously could never happen. If anyone suggested such a thing, the President would fire him immediately.
In "Behind Closed Doors," the characters, supposedly based on such real people as Bob Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, John Dean John Mitchell, Howard Hunt and many others, were portrayed as schemers and sinister hatchet men, ready to protect the President at any cost, even if it meant violating the law of the land.
This, of course, makes a good story, but it could never have happened. The men who have worked in the White House always came from the best families, were educated in the best schools and raised in the American tradition of fair play and patriotism. They never would have resorted to any illegal act to further the re-election of the President. It just wasn't in them, and even if a President had suggested it, which no President would, they would have immediately resigned rather than carry out his orders.
The television drama also gave another very unreal picture of Washington. It showed a businessman trying to buy an ambassadorship for his wife with a large political campaign contribution. Now this is where the writers have gone too far.
In the history of American diplomacy, no ambassadorship has ever been given in exchange for a political campaign contribution. If this were true, we would have ambassadors all over the world who didn't know what they were doing, and we would have some of the most unqualified people in the country reporting back to Washington on the affairs of state.
For those of us who live in Washington, the most unfair incidents in "Being Closed Doors" concerned the women of this town. The TV series showed them going to bed with men in power to whom they weren't married. The CIA director in the plot even left his wife for a widow, and a young college girl had an affair with a White House aide in hopes of getting a job.
The implication was that the morals in Washington are "loose," and that people go to bed with each other whether they're married to them or not. This is a terribly unfair picture to show because it gives the wrong impression of what Washington is all about. As long as I've lived here, I've never known sex to play any part in government.
Washington women think too much of their reputations to bed down with a man just because he is in power. And a man in power would never take advantage of his position to seduce a woman he was not married to. For one thing, it would compromise the high ideals the constituents expect of their politicians and high government officials. For another, it would be a sin.
When it comes to politics, power and sex, Washington is above reproach. Even the newspapermen who cover this town would never do anything to sully their reputations, such as lie, cheat or go to bed with someone just to get a story.
The reason this city has never been touched by scandal is that everyone from the President down to the most humble South Korean businessman has a sense of morality and ethics which unfortunately, cannot be found in the rest of the country.
"Behind Closed Doors" has done a great disservice to the political system by presenting Washington and the people who work here in a terrible light. It is a fairy tale and should be seen as such. If there was even a smattering of truth to it, G. Gordon Liddy would NOT be out President today.