The HBO Documentary unit has been premiering a new documentary each Monday night this summer, and they've come up with a very pertinent topic for this week. Thank You, Mr. President: Helen Thomas at the White House examines the career of stalwart White House Press Corp member Thomas, the tough reporter who's been covering the Presidential beat since Kennedy. Helen Thomas has always been a tireless defender of journalism and the public's right to know, and need we mention that today's media could use a good dose of what Helen had, whaddya think, huh?
Filmmaker Rory Kennedy (daughter of Robert and Ethel Kennedy, born six months after his assassination in 1968), whose most recent project was the chilling Ghosts of Abu Ghraib, winner of the 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Nonfiction Special, calls the special "uplifting", and it should be required viewing for anyone interested in media and the political process. Thank You, Mr. President (a phrase and a tradition originated by Ms. Thomas, btw) premieres this coming Monday, August 18th at 9pm and replays frequently; check the HBO website for additional airtimes. Helen Thomas hasn't fared so well with the current White House administration, and perhaps you'll understand why after viewing this intriguing documentary.
P.S.: I also very much enjoyed the Heidi Fleiss documentary from a few weeks ago, Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal, a fascinating look at the current life of former Hollywood Madame Fleiss in out-of-the-way Nevada as she works on a new business and cares for a menagerie of exotic birds inherited from a friend. It plays again on 8/20 at 1:35am, and I highly recommend catching it. Very touching in parts.