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Joe Morton had just stepped off a red carpet in the rotunda of Los Angeles City Hall Saturday night when the Scandal star was approached by a fan.
“Hi, I’m Richard Schiff’s mother,” said Charlotte Schiff-Booker. “I just want to say hi and that we think you’re wonderful. We watch you on that show every week. It gets meaner and more horrible.”
“And it’s going to get crazier and crazier,” Morton said.
The one-time-only reading of All the President’s Men — directed by The Fountain Theatre’s Stephen Sachs — was led by the stars of The West Wing. Bradley Whitford starred as Bob Woodward alongside Josh Malina as Carl Bernstein. Schiff played Washington Post editor Harry Rosenberg.
The cast also included Morton as Deep Throat, Ed Begley Jr. as Post managing editor Howard Simons and Jeff Perry as the paper’s legendary executive editor Ben Bradlee.
The evening served as a benefit for the Society of Professional Journalists.
“We have a commander-in-chief who does not respect or even understand the freedoms embedded in our Constitution or its First Amendment,” said Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who hosted the reading in the John Ferraro Council Camber. “The Trump administration’s war on the First Amendment includes repeated degradations of the role of media in our society and repeated invocations of ‘fake news’ when the absolute truth does not suit him, blacklisting press on occasion, including, and not ironically, The Washington Post, [and] open discrimination and intolerance under the guise of religious freedom.”
“In Los Angeles, we hold these values dear,” O’Farrell continued. “Donald Trump and his administration do not represent our values. The state of California and the city of Los Angeles, we are leading the resistance. All of us gathered here tonight, we are part and parcel of that resistance.”
President Trump’s handling of the Mueller investigation has been regularly compared to Watergate, which erupted in 1972 when members of President Richard Nixon’s reelection committee were caught breaking into the office of the Democratic National Committee.
The Oscar-winning 1976 film All the President’s Men was based on Woodward and Bernstein’s book of the same name chronicling their investigation into Watergate and Nixon’s eventual downfall.
“The idea of a president who might be obstructing justice once again, firing Comey and now trying to fire Mueller, it’s crazy,” Morton told The Hollywood Reporter.
Whitford called the similarities “even scarier because I keep saying that Nixon now looks like Albert Schweitzer,” the late Nobel Peace Prize winner regarded as a symbol of humanitarianism and selflessness after dedicating most of his life to providing medical care in remote areas of Africa. “It’s scary how it’s all happening again.”
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