February 15, 2007
By Vernon Horn
Oliver North, the nationally syndicated columnist, host of Fox News Channel’s “War Stories” and key participant in the Iran-Contra affair, has become the first known victim of what he termed the “secret, backroom deal” between the Smithsonian and Showtime. North explains that he was “commencing production of a documentary on nuclear weapons tentatively titled, ’From the Manhattan Project to Tehran‘ and wanted to ‘shoot’ a few minutes of videotape of the ‘Enola Gay,’ the B-29 bomber that dropped the first atomic bomb on 6 August 1945.” In his “Colonel’s Corner” column on the Fox News site, an appalled North reports that he learned that “though the institution purports to operate as a ‘public trust,’ it’s clear that the public can’t be trusted to know the terms of the cozy deal cooked up with Showtime.” The AHA has expressed its similar concerns about the Smithsonian/Showtime deal in prior blog posts here, here, and here. Welcome to the club Ollie.
*Update – Feb. 15th, 11:21 am
After a very public spat between Oliver North and the Smithsonian, a spokeswoman for the Smithsonian announced that both sides had come to an agreement. North will now be allowed to film the Enola Gay next month. More from the WashingtonPost.com (scroll down to the end of the article).