Nixon: The Performance Artist

Back in 1974, when the U.S. was captivated by the televised Watergate hearings and the downfall of a president, viewers probably just assumed that they were watching the news. But in retrospect, wasn’t Watergate the moment when America’s news media stopped being merely a cold, hard reading of the facts, and became a videocentric free-for-all, a neverending race for the perfect shot, the ideal angle, and the subtle manipulation of content for narrative purpose? In other words, was the decline and fall of Richard Nixon actually the first recorded instance of video art?