Netflixs new documentary provides a thorough history of the sinister Forrest Gump of American politics, who has had a hand in everything from Watergate to the rise of the current president
Fortuitously timed doesnt begin to describe the release of this new Netflix documentary about Americas smear-campaigner-in-chief Roger Stone. It lands on the streaming platform at the end of a week in which the man who the lobbyist and consultant first introduced to politics, Donald Trump, fired the very person investigating him for collusion with Russia: FBI head James Comey. And the man who, its reported, encouraged Trump to sack Comey? One Roger Stone, who is himself being investigated over his own links with Russia.
Even if Stone wasnt sat at the centre of what is potentially the biggest political scandal in American history, he would still be deserving of a documentary profile. This, after all, is the man who journalist Jeffrey Toobin describes as the sinister Forrest Gump of American politics. Stone has had a perma-tanned hand in just about every nefarious deed carried out by the forces of the American conservative movement in the past half century, from Watergate right up to the election of perhaps the least qualified man in history to hold the office of US president. He also practically invented the modern political attack ad and engaged in the dirtiest of dirty tricks. Theres a reason Stone has the acquired the eye-opening nickname, Ratfucker.
Even more remarkable than that soubriquet is the fact that Stone has carried out this reign of terror not in the manner of a shadowy Koch-brothers-style figure, but as someone who gleefully courts press, positive or otherwise. A bodybuilding dandy (another excellent Toobin description) with a taste for loud suits and even louder media appearances not to mention a tattoo of Nixons disembodied head on the square of his back Stone is the sort of extrovert figure that documentarians pray to their altar of Errol Morris DVDs to one day get to make a film about.
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