Is it possible for an American Vice President to carry out a criminal enterprise inside the White House and have nobody remember? To have one of the most brazen political bribery scandals in American history play out before the country while nobody’s paying attention? In her first original podcast, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow goes back 45 years to dig into a story that got overshadowed in its day. There’s intrigue. Corruption. Envelopes of cash delivered to the White House. It’s a story that’s not well known, but it probably should be. Especially today. Bag Man. A Rachel Maddow podcast from MSNBC. Listen to the Peabody Award-nominated series now.
Bag Man - Coming October 30th
Check out a sneak preview of Bag Man, Rachel Maddow’s first original podcast. First 2 episodes drop October 30th. Subscribe now.
Episode 1: An Unsettling Secret
He was brash. Politically incorrect. An “outsider” political candidate who rose to the White House, out of nowhere, with a reputation as a “counter-puncher.” But Vice President Spiro Agnew was also something else… an active criminal whose secrets were about to be exposed. What happens when a “counter-puncher” in the White House suddenly sees his political future directly threatened by investigators inside his own Justice Department?
Episode 2: Crawling In
With the Watergate scandal gripping the nation, and President Richard Nixon on the verge of going down, a small team of federal prosecutors in Baltimore discover a bombshell that will rock a nation already on the edge. The Vice President of the United States— right at the height of Watergate—has been conducting a secret bribery and extortion operation… from inside the White House itself. And only they know it.
Episode 3: Hang In There, Baby
With the criminal investigation of him now public, Vice President Spiro Agnew launches a bold counter-attack to survive. An unprecedented assault... on his own Justice Department that's investigating him. And the reporters now covering his case. And Agnew gets back-up in that effort from his legion of hardcore supporters across the country and in Congress.
Episode 4: Turn It Off
After learning that his own Justice Department is investigating his crimes, Vice President Spiro Agnew embarks on a secret, behind-the-scenes effort... to obstruct justice. To use his power inside the White House to interfere with the investigation and shut it down. It’s a scheme that involves President Nixon himself, members of Nixon's inner circle, and it has never been known to the prosecutors investigating the case... even now, 45 years later.
Episode 5: Double-Header
Vice President Spiro Agnew attempts a last-ditch effort to survive
R.M. Is a great storyteller. I binged this all in one night and I thought it could have been cut to 4 or 5 slightly longer episodes.
Could have been better
The information was great, but delivered in such a repetitive, confusing, teasing style that this is a painful listen. WAY over-produced and horribly stitched together. Really only enough material for 3-4 episodes if you take out all the teasers of information, foreshadowing, repeating of ground already covered and relentless ads.
That being said, the story is very relevant today and provides the handbook for political criminals to dodge responsibility. All the Stars are for that.
Rachel comes up a bit short on the obstruction claims
Rachel is convincing that Agnew was corrupt and trying to obstruct justice, but the evidence she provides suggests Nixon believed the prosecutors were out of control and needed to be reigned in by their boss. That’s not obstruction and the series would have been better had she not stretched the evidence to argue for the broader conspiracy to obstruct Justice by Nixon, his staff, the Senator, and papa Bush.