TIME White House

9 Secret Service Screw-Ups and Scandals

Secret Service - stock photo
Ian Waldie—Getty Images

From White House intruders to wild and crazy nights

With Secret Service Director Julia Pierson appearing before a House oversight panel on Tuesday with promises to fix the agency after revelations that a fence-jumper made it all the way to the East Room, the agency is making lots of promises. “It will never happen again,” Pierson told the panel.

But as hopeful as she may be, those who remember even the recent history of the agency have reason to take that vow with a grain of salt. Not only is there a decades-long history of intrusions at the White House, but the agency is also no stranger to messing up.

For example:

Earlier this year, three agents were sent home from a trip to the Netherlands after getting drunk the night before the President was set to arrive.

In 2013, two agents were removed from Presidential security detail after sending sexually inappropriate emails to a colleague, which was uncovered when one of the agents was discovered trying to forcefully enter a woman’s hotel room after forgetting a bullet inside.

In 2012, eight agents were fired after it emerged that they had allegedly solicited prostitutes while on an on-duty trip to Colombia.

In 2001, an agent admitted to having stolen nearly $3,000 in cash that the Secret Service had taken as evidence in the years prior.

In 1999, an agent in Chicago with then-First Lady Hillary Clinton went to a hotel bar and put her service weapon in her purse under her chair; a thief with a long arrest record stole the gun.

In 1998, during the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Ken Starr got permission to question Secret Service agents. Though helping a President find some personal privacy for a tryst was nothing new in the agency’s history, the Starr Report still made headlines by revealing that agents had watched her come and go from the Oval Office.

In 1997, an agent who was guarding former President Ronald Reagan was convicted of sex with a minor and possession of drugs, as well as resisting arrest.

In 1971, in the realm of legal-but-shady real-estate dealings, it was revealed that the Secret Service had arranged for a Florida home near President Nixon’s compound in the area to be sold for $150,000—the owners were, ironically, annoyed by all the Secret Service presence—to a buyer who turned out to be a friend of the administration’s, who subsequently leased the house back to the the Secret Service.

In 1964, when the Warren Commission investigated the Kennedy assassination, the group found that Secret Service agents had been drinking the night before the event—though there was no accusation that the drinking impaired their work, it was still forbidden—and that the route was not properly secured.

Then again, hope for a scandal-free secret service isn’t necessarily misplaced. After all, the agency once had a spotless record. In the April 16, 1934, issue of TIME, agency chief William Herman Moran recalled 52 years in the agency and was “proud that, since its organization in 1861, his secret police system has never had a scandal.”

The same article recounts the story of an agent who stopped President Warren Harding from getting on a boat that soon sank and President Herbert Hoover from speaking from a platform that had been “gutted by termites” to the point of collapse. Highly visible saves —like preventing President Reagan’s assassination in 1981—are few and far between, but daily successes like looking out for termites are likely to have continued over the decades that would follow, largely unnoticed. It’s the fate of the Secret Service that, until its agents do something wrong, the work that they do mostly remains, well, secret.

TIME Television

Real-Life Olivia Pope Reveals What President George H.W. Bush Thinks of Scandal

'Love you. Want you. You left me!' the 90-year-old former president and Fitzpatrick Grant inspiration told P.R. professional Judy Smith

Olivia Pope, television phenom and Washington fixer extraordinaire, seems to have found a fan in George H.W. Bush.

Pope, the Kerry Washington character, is inspired by real-life crisis management pro Judy Smith, a consultant on the ABC show and one-time special assistant to Bush.

When the show departed from Smith’s own biography and showed Pope having an affair with the president, who as a Navy veteran and scion of a wealthy Republican political family is a Bush-like figure, Smith felt that she had to give the now 90-year-old former president a heads up.

“I had to quickly call President Bush to help frame the message. To help form the narrative before he heard from anyone else,” she told a crowd gathered Friday at the Nantucket Project, a conference on art and commerce, hours after the fourth season of the show premiered.

So Smith called Bush’s office, where they said he was proud of her and couldn’t wait to see the show. She insisted, however, that she needed to talk to him to explain something.

When he called back, she was in the middle of work and couldn’t pick up, but he left a message: “Love you. Want you. You left me! And by the way, this is the former leader of the free world. Call me.”

She called him back to say, “See? This is why I’m calling you now, you need some talking points!”

He replied, “I’m going to confirm the affair…I have young people working in my office now. They said I need to stay relevant, it’s good for my reputation.”

“I said, ‘Look now, if you don’t stay on these messages, I am going to call your boss,’” Smith remembers saying.

“You wouldn’t call Barbara, would you?,” the former president asked.

TIME Television

Where Are All the Angry Black Women?

#TGIT Premiere Event Hosted BY Twitter
Actress Viola Davis , the star of How To Get Away With Murder. Amanda Edwards—WireImage/Getty Images

Robin Givens on living with outdated stereotypes in a modern era

We’ve been hearing a lot of about angry black women this week. A New York Times television critic used that phrase recently to describe Shonda Rhimes, producer of breakthrough hit shows featuring African American women like Scandal, Gray’s Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder which premiered on Thursday. The Times piece launched a hot debate about race and the media prompting a long response from the paper’s public editor on Wednesday. That’s a conversation we should be having, but beyond those fundamental questions, the fracas left me wondering where the term “angry black women” originated and what goings on made the term stick.

By the time we’re adults, most black women have lots of reasons, big and small, to be furious whether it’s pay inequities or the outrageous injustices that are regularly inflicted upon our fathers, brothers, sons and husbands. But looking around, I don’t know where all the angry black women are. Mostly we’re working. Anger might just be a luxury we don’t have. And I’m not sure public fury is something we feel safe expressing even when we should.

Just this summer, a friend mine, well-educated, well-travelled, successful and black, offered to house sit and take care of my dog Grace. She’s done this before and usually her boyfriend would join her while she walked Grace in the park down the street from my home. On one particular night on their walk, three police cars pulled up and asked her what she and her boyfriend were doing. Stunned, scared and confused, she cautiously replied “walking the dog.” They showed their ID to the officers and went on their way. My friend then phoned to tell me what had happened. She was clearly shaken but not angry, though she had every right to be.

Before that, I spent weeks watching Trayvon Martin’s mother defend her murdered son with strength and grace but never anger, an emotion she had every right to under the circumstances. I thought of my sons and wondered how she kept the rage at bay. But she did. And now there’s Michael Brown, and another mother suffering but not raging.

When I explain to my sons (who happen to be half white ) that while their friends jump fences to take the shortcut home , they absolutely should not. Why? They ask me. I search for the right words. I resent that I have to have this conversation with them, I resent that I worry about them when they pull up their hoodies. Does this make me an angry black woman?

I was raised being told that education is the great equalizing factor in America, but the officers in my Southern California neighborhood didn’t ask about my friend’s expensive degree when they stopped her. I don’t know what they were thinking. And while I do know that so very much has changed since my mother had to enter through the back door in order to go to the movies in Lexington, Ky., so much has remained the same. And that includes having a TV critic look at Shonda Rhimes’ career and decide to measure the complex black female characters she’s brought into our lives against a cartoonish stereotype.

The piece should serve as reminder that it is still remarkable to see 49-year-old Viola Davis as the star of a prime time drama, and, for that matter, to see Michelle Obama in the White House. This is because we are still being measured against those stereotypes and still learning to climb past them. Legendary actress Ruby Dee once told me that for black women, life is “like going to the ocean and only being allowed a cup of it.” And when I think of Shonda Rhimes and what she has done with that cup, I’m proud. She is gloriously swimming in the all of it and furthermore, she brings friends … Viola Davis, Kerry Washington to name a few.

When I look at Tea Leoni or Kerry Washington I don’t see much difference between them. When I look at Viola Davis and Meryl Streep I am in awe, equally. But as a black actress and black woman, I realize that Davis and Washington’s roads have been very different from their counterparts. Narrower and steeper to say the least.

And for the black women who are watching these actresses move ascend in the cultural universe, there’s pride. Rhimes’ heroines are us. We don’t spend our days talking about being black, and we come in different shapes and sizes, and yes different colors. Some of us are weak and some of us are strong. And some of us are even angry, especially when someone who has no experience in our world makes a judgement about what we’re feeling.

TIME Television

7 Things You Need to Know Before Scandal’s Season 4 Premiere


Get the facts straight before the big premiere

Correction appended Sept. 26

Thursday night, celebrators of Rosh Ha-Shonda will wrap up in their Olivia Pope inspired white coats and eagerly watch the season 4 premiere of Scandal.

Season 3 was jam packed with explosive plot lines and, well, literal explosions. In case you were in need of a quick refresher, don’t fret: it’s been handled. Here are the 7 things you should remember going into the premiere — because Gladiators need recaps, too.

1. James was murdered
Viewers were shocked to see Cyrus’ husband James, a fan favorite, get shot in the head by Olivia’s love interest Jake. (A now-debatable fan favorite.) Cyrus is now a single dad in mourning.

2. The president’s son was murdered
Publicly. Jerry was infected with bacterial meningitis, stolen from the CDC, during a campaign event. (That’s one tragic way to win a presidency). Mama Pope got the blame — deserved or not.

3. Papa Pope is really to blame
Along with the help of secret service man Tom — who came out of nowhere as a double agent. Rowan took out little Jerry as an act of vengeance since he said that the president took away his child, Olivia. (Metaphorically. Those are different things, Rowan.) Although Harrison found out about Rowan’s master plan…

3. …Harrison will probably be murdered
Because it’s Scandal. If there’s an opportunity to kill a character, you take it. The season ended with Tom pointing a gun at Harrison’s head. While we didn’t see him pull the trigger, after actor Columbus Short’s was arrested for domestic abuse, Shonda Rhimes said that he was getting written out of the show.

4. Things we hope will die: Huck and Quinn’s relationship
The two were involved in a lot of weird sex and face licking in season 3. Although that might change. Before Charlie (Quinn’s murderous ex) left, he gave Quinn information about where the family Huck left behind lives. Huck has now been reunited with his wife. Is he going to play house?

5. What’s going on with Mama Pope?
Well, she was captured by Rowan — who told the president he’d kill her, but really just locked her in a hole underground.

6. Speaking of nice getaways, Olivia and Fitz aren’t going to Vermont anytime soon
Although Fitz, sure he was going to lose to Sally Langston, told Liv that he was ready to leave Mellie and start making jam with her in Vermont, things changed quickly. Olivia revealed Mellie was raped by his father. And now that Jerry has died, he can’t exactly walk out now, can he?

7. Also, Olivia literally left on a jet plane with Jake
That also might complicate the Olitz relationship. Jake asked her to save him and walk in the sun with him over and over again throughout the season, and Olivia finally said yes. She quit the company and is off to an undisclosed location. Jake quit B613 and gave David a ton of confidential filed along with the note, “go get the bad guys.”

But everyone is kind of a bad guy!

And now, on to the complex plot lines Shonda certainly has in store for season 4. Scandal premieres Thursday, Sept. 24 at 9 p.m.

The original version of this post misstated the name of the character who passed along confidential information. It was David.

TIME celebrity

Watch Kerry Washington Call Jimmy Fallon’s Bluffs on the Tonight Show

The Scandal star is an expert human lie detector in a game called "Box of Lies"

Last night, Kerry Washington dropped by the Tonight Show and joined Jimmy Fallon for a recurring segment called “Box of Lies.” It’s a game that requires contestants to guess whether or not the other player is lying about the contents of various boxes chosen at random. (Previous contestants include Jennifer Lawrence and Tina Fey.)

The Scandal star turned out to be pretty good at this game and totally ended up besting Fallon — though neither of them are any good at keeping a straight face or stifling their giggles.

TIME Television

Scandal-Inspired Fashion Line Has Officially Hit Stores

You too can look like Olivia Pope

Scandal fans, rejoice. Not only is the ABC hit returning Thursday, but you can watch the Fall season premiere in your very own Olivia Pope signature white coat.

Tuesday marks the launch of a Scandal-inspired collection at The Limited. For $228, you too can own a Kerry Washington-esque plaid cape!

Limited chief executive Diane Ellis told the New York Times that research on the store’s typical shopper showed that, “Kerry Washington came up in the top three of celebrities she looks to, along with Jennifer Aniston and Sandra Bullock.”

(We aren’t surprised.)

Hopefully this line inspires a whole new slew of TV-inspired fashion. It’s not too late for Banana Republic to release a Mother of Dragons collection in time for Game of Thrones season 5…


Welcome to Shondaland

2014 Summer TCA Tour - Day 8
Executive producer Shonda Rhimes speaks onstage at the 'How To Get Away With Murder'' panel during the Disney/ABC Television Group portion of the 2014 Summer Television Critics Association at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 15, 2014 in Beverly Hills. Frederick M. Brown—Getty Images

The superproducer, programming all of ABC's Thursday night, has found that nothing succeeds like excess.

Beginning Sept. 25, superproducer Shonda Rhimes will take over a solid night of prime-time network TV in a way usually reserved only for pro sports. ABC airs Rhimes’ Grey’s Anatomy at 8 pm ET, Scandal at 9 and How to Get Away With Murder (created by Scandal co-producer Pete Nowalk) at 10. Aw yeah, America! Are you ready for some conspiracies, murder and romantic entanglements?

My column in this week’s print TIME looks at what makes a Shonda show a Shonda show, and what Rhimes has that other network producers don’t (and would love to):

That Rhimes commands an entire night on a major network puts her in the ranks of superproducers like David E. Kelley, Steven Bochco and Aaron Spelling. That she’s done it as an African-American woman is echoed in the casual diversity of her shows. And she’s achieved all this by figuring out a way for network drama to thrive in a challenging era: with smart, pulpy shows that emote like pop ballads, look like America and run like hell.

You’ll have to read the column (subscription required) for my take on Rhimes’ creative style. But anyone who gets three solid hours of programming on a major network is also a business success, and it seems to me that Rhimes has, in a couple of ways, used her art to overcome the problems facing big broadcast TV today.

First and most obvious is that Rhimes’ shows have unlocked social media, which can either be a distraction siphoning viewers away or an attraction tying them to you. It’s not just about how Rhimes’ cast, and she herself, have used Twitter so well and actively; in a way her shows, and Scandal in particular, are built for social media, with their OMG-ability and their sense of constant, crazy acceleration. It’s a way of making a scripted drama feel like an event, something you want to experience live.

But also, with Scandal–and maybe with Murder as well–she seems to have figured out one answer to the question of how broadcast networks can compete with the creative license of cable. At least since Tony Soprano came to HBO, there’s been a belief that cable protagonists have a freedom to embrace the dark side that network shows, with their broader audiences, don’t have.

But Rhimes’ series–like, in a different way, The Good Wife–draw their strength from allowing their characters to be bad, or at least ethically flexible. The fact that you don’t know precisely what moral lines Olivia Pope and her gladiators won’t cross doesn’t make them unlikeable; it makes them interesting. (It’s also helped keep the show grounded in character even as the third season’s plot spun further into quasi-Alias territory.)

As for How to Get Away With Murder: well, read the title–it’s taking moral compromise as a mission statement. Judging by the pilot (all I’ve seen so far) this show is a “maybe” for me so far. Viola Davis is as commanding as a pounding gavel, but the show still needs to establish that it has its own identity beyond “Scandal goes to law school.” But it starts off fast, and we can judge from precedent, will only get faster. Not for nothing does Shondaland’s production company logo feature a roller coaster.

TIME Football

The Patriot Way: Tom Brady Declines to Take a Stand On Ray Rice, Other NFL Scandals

Tom Brady prior to the New England Patriots vs. Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, right, chatted with former teammate Willie McGinest, left, now of the NFL Network before the Patriots faced the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 14. Boston Globe—Boston Globe via Getty Images

"It’s not really my responsibility to speak out about those things, because there are a lot of other people doing the talking."

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s comments on Monday about the NFL’s recent scandals involving Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson (and Greg Hardy, and Ray McDonald) haven’t gotten much attention, because he really didn’t say much of anything at all.

Brady, as one of the NFL’s most decorated and visible stars, is an ambassador for the league. Fans and the media alike pay attention when he talks, even if he’s rarely any more forthcoming than his head coach, Bill Belichick. So when Brady was asked on Boston sports news radio station WEEI about the NFL’s recent spate of high-profile violence, it’s likely there were those who hoped that he would buck his usual practice and deliver a strong rebuke of those incidents.

Instead, Brady had this to say:

“I try to stay in my lane. All of those things, none of it’s really my business or my control. I’ve just been focusing on the games and what I can do better. The things that are taking place on other teams or league-wide decisions, those are a different pay grade than me . . . If I make a comment about it, there’s nothing I can do to make a difference.”

No one familiar with Brady, the Patriots or the NFL would expect the 15-year veteran to immediately become a champion of social change on an array of issues, but you could hardly be forgiven for being disappointed Brady would not take a stand on an issue as clear-cut as domestic abuse.

Brady has a well-earned reputation as a bland interviewee who cares about winning above all else, in the same mold as Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter. It’s entirely possible that this could explain his no-comment comments. There’s little question that Belichick would approve of an interview in which Brady declined to discuss any off-field issues (after all, that, more than whatever myth was perpetuated for most of the last 15 years, is the real “Patriot Way”). Maybe once football season starts, Brady simply doesn’t want to talk about anything other than football, ever.

But maybe there’s something a little less cut-and-dry to Brady’s comments than that. Since 2001, Belichick and Brady have proven themselves time and time again two of the league’s savviest and shrewdest operators. Belichick is not afraid to bend the rules when he thinks he can get away with it (see: 2007’s Spygate scandal) and he has no qualms about dropping longtime players as soon as their price tag begins to pass their usefulness (too many to list). Perhaps most crucially, however, the Patriots have proven themselves masters of acquiring players whose value has depreciated due to non-football reasons.

Randy Moss. Aqib Talib. Albert Haynesworth. These are a few of the players who fall into that category. Moss had numerous on-field incidents and was accused of battery against a woman in 2008. Talib allegedly battered a cab driver in 2009 and was indicted for assault with a deadly weapon in 2011. Haynesworth stomped on a player’s helmet-less head in 2006 and was accused of simple assault during a traffic altercation in 2011. While not all made a major impact for the Patriots, each had the potential to do so. (And this is leaving aside Aaron Hernandez, with whom the Patriots quickly cut ties last summer but had raised a few red flags during his time at Florida.)

None of this is to say that the Patriots will sign Ray Rice or Ray McDonald or Greg Hardy or Adrian Peterson somewhere down the line. But the evidence suggests that Belichick and Brady value winning above all else, and at some point in the future, one of these players might be able to help them do just that — at a discount. So perhaps that could be another explanation for why Brady had no interest in commenting on these recent incidents. Even if none of these men ever become a teammate of his, speaking out against them could close a lane that would maybe, just maybe, help the team win another Super Bowl. That’s simply not the Patriot Way.

TIME Style

Why That Urban Outfitters Kent State Sweatshirt Caused an Uproar

Kent State Shootings
Mary Ann Vecchio kneels by the body of a student lying face down on the campus of Kent State University, Kent, Ohio on May 4, 1970. John Filo—AP Photo

The blood-like details on the sweatshirt seem to reference the deaths of four students in 1970

A sweatshirt offered for sale by Urban Outfitters on the retailer’s website caused outrage Monday as it seemed to market a bloody shirt from one of the most shocking episodes of the anti-Vietnam War movement. The sight of a faded “vintage” Kent State sweatshirt with red accents, which is no longer for sale, caused many people to notice that the marks on the fabric looked like blood. From there, the conclusion was simple: the sweatshirt seemed to be a reference to the May 4, 1970, Kent State shootings.

The resemblance was mere coincidence, the company later said, in an apology: “There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray.” Urban Outfitters may not have intended to offend (even though, as a consumer psychology expert told Money this morning, controversy is good for business) and it does seem possible that nobody at the millennial-centric company even thought of — or, perhaps, had ever heard of — a protest that happened more than four decades ago.

So what exactly happened at Kent State?

It took half a century to transform Kent State from an obscure teachers college into the second largest university in Ohio, with 21,000 students and an impressive array of modern buildings on its main campus,” TIME reported shortly after the shooting. “But it took less than ten terrifying seconds last week to convert the traditionally conformist campus into a bloodstained symbol of the rising student rebellion against the Nixon Administration and the war in Southeast Asia. When National Guardsmen fired indiscriminately into a crowd of unarmed civilians, killing four students, the bullets wounded the nation.”

On the night of May 1, as students at the Ohio university danced in the street, an unlucky driver attempted to get through the crowd. The mood in the country, amid a wave of student protests over the Vietnam War, was tense, and the confrontation over a traffic jam quickly became more serious, as students in the crowd started anti-war chants. The police used tear gas to get the students back to campus, but the conflict was still fresh when an administration-approved rally began the next day, a Saturday. The protest turned violent, and the local mayor requested help from the National Guard. On Sunday, Ohio governor James Rhodes said that the student protesters were “the worst type of people that we harbor in America” and, despite requests to close the campus, declared a state of emergency instead. When nearly 1,000 students staged a sit-in that night, it was against his order banning all protests.

Though classes started as usual on Monday, the protest ban still rankled students. Many — again, about 1,000 — assembled on campus, flaunting the ban and prompting the National Guard to respond with tear gas. Some students picked up the canisters and threw them back. To the student demonstrators, taunting the Guardsmen was a more serious game of catch. “…Delighted spectators, watching from the hilltop, windows of buildings and the roof of another men’s dorm, cheered,” TIME reported. “Many demonstrators were laughing.”

But then the tear gas ran out. The Guardsmen retreated to the top of a hill, watching the crowd. They fired.

The protest, noisy and chaotic, stopped. Four students were dead. William K. Schroeder, 19, had been a spectator. Sandra Lee Scheuer, 20, had been walking to class. Jefrrey Glenn Miller, 20, had called his mother to let her know that he felt he had to take part in the protests. Allison Krause, 19, had recently placed a flower in the rifle of a Guardsman at the protest. Ten others were wounded.

The deaths of the Kent State students inspired another wave of student protests across the country, as well as the Neil Young song “Ohio”:

Read a May 1970 report on the Kent State shootings here, in TIME’s archives: Kent State: Martyrdom that Shook the Country

TIME Football

Redskins Controversy ‘Not High’ on Native American Agenda, Says Interior Secretary

Dallas Cowboys v Washington Redskins
A Redskins flag is displayed before the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 22, 2013 in Landover, Maryland. G Fiume—Getty Images

"Personally, I find it surprising that in this day and age, the name is not different"

The controversy over the NFL’s Washington Redskins team name “isn’t high” on the Native American agenda, U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told ABC Friday, but she added that it’s “surprising” the football franchise has yet to change its name. As Secretary of the agency overseeing the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Jewell works to uphold trust and treaty obligations with Native American tribes.

“Personally, I think we would never consider naming a team the ‘Blackskins’ or the ‘Brownskins’ or the ‘Whiteskins,'” said Jewell. “So, personally, I find it surprising that in this day and age, the name is not different.”

“But in talking with tribal leaders, this has not been the issue that they have talked about with me, and I think that there is debate, even among the Native American community, on the Washington Redskins, and certainly there are a lot of people who have pride in that team,” Jewell added. “So, my personal views are not necessarily reflected in the tribes that I talk to.”

Fellow cabinet member Attorney General Eric Holder went further in his comments with ABC earlier this year, saying that he personally believes the Redskins name is “offensive” and should be changed. That view is supported by 50 independent and Democratic senators, who called the name “Redskins” a “racial slur” in a recent letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell advocating to change the name of the Washington franchise. President Barack Obama has signaled that he is open to changing the name; Redskins owner Dan Synder has vowed to never change it.

An ESPN poll released this week found the percentage who think the Redskins name should be changed has nearly tripled since 1992 to 23%. Still, the vast majority of Americans—71%—believe the team should be allowed to keep its name, according to the poll.




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