John Kiesewetter reports:
TV’s best drama on Tuesday won’t be “NCIS,” “Vegas” or “Justified.”
PBS has a terrific high-stakes cliffhanger with back-stabbing, double-crossing and naked ambition: PBS’ “Frontline” examination of last year’s fiscal cliff negotiations.
House Speaker John Boehner, the West Chester Township Republican, plays the lead role in the hour (8 p.m., Channels 48, 16) before President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.
“Frontline” provides great insight into how Boehner, the “consummate political insider,” is caught in the middle between an “arrogant” president riding high after re-election and new conservative House Republicans from the 2010 midterm tea party revolution.
“He has resolute opponents on both fronts … and no one is cutting him any slack,” says Jack Farrell of the National Journal.
Boehner tells “Frontline” his December deal with Obama fell apart when the president demanded $400 billion more in revenues two days later.
“We had worked out the numbers,” Boehner said. “I had an agreement on Sunday. … But he wanted more revenues.”
When the wheels fell off at the cliff’s edge, Obama blasted Republicans by asking: “Can they say yes to anything?”
Boehner fired back at a news conference: “Dealing with the White House is like dealing with a bowl of Jell-O. They moved the goal posts.”
It’s the best TV profile I’ve seen of Boehner – and a depressing picture about the continuing fight over our fiscal problems.