“Inside the White House” TV specials archived online

NBC has posted their one hour “Inside the Obama White House” special here, along with an hour of supplemental footage that focuses largely on Michelle Obama and the domestic life of the White House. But what’s really neat is that if you click on the “Archives: Bush, Clinton, more” on the left-hand side of the screen, you can watch Bush I and II, Clinton (there’s some heartbreaking 1993 interview footage with an optimistic HRC describing her health care reform efforts and her general ambition to be an activist First Lady), Reagan, Carter, Nixon, Eisenhower, and Jackie Kennedy’s White House Tour.

I haven’t used these in class, but there’s a lot of interesting stuff going on here around television history, political culture, celebrity, gender and domesticity, and on and on! The online availability seems to help make this archive manageable for classroom use; students could watch all of these at home, or the instructor could assign students particular episodes and then have a discussion using the students’ specialized “expertise”.

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