By Judy Kurtz
According to Troy, Carter even asked his communications adviser Gerald Rafshoon to make a list of must-see blockbusters.
Although Carter declared a preference for “family-friendly” films, Troy says, as far as the public knows, he was the only president to watch an X-rated film in the White House: 1969’s “Midnight Cowboy.” The movie’s rating was changed to “R” when it was released in 1971.
These days, Troy says, it’s hard to know what the White House dwellers are really ingesting in their daily pop culture diets. “You don’t know what TV or movies or books the presidents read or watched definitively. We only know what we were told they watched.”
Former President Clinton, a voracious reader according to Troy, used to highlight the serious nonfiction books he read.
“But he also read three to four mysteries a week, and he didn’t highlight that so much. So he liked to read mysteries instead of watching TV, which is a perfectly acceptable outlet, but that’s not what he was trying to convey to the American people.”
Troy, who originally wanted to title his book “From Cicero to Snooki,” says part of the inspiration for his tome came when President Obama made mention of MTV “Jersey Shore” starlet Snooki during a joke in his White House Correspondents’ Association dinner remarks a few years ago.
That led Troy to the question: “Are we better off with a president who knows who Snooki is or doesn’t know?”
When pressed for what he believes is the right answer, he quips, “I think it might be marginally helpful to have an awareness of who she is, but not beneficial to watch her.”