WASHINGTON (Nov. 1, 2004)–In a heated political season filled with personal attacks and unauthorized biographies, there is one constant among both campaigns. It is a matter of life and death. It involves a dedicated and loyal team just beyond the spotlight, monitoring each candidate’s every move. Its members are sworn to uphold the law and protect the candidate…with their lives, if necessary. They are the men and women of the U.S. Secret Service. Boasting remarkable access to a government agency historically shrouded in secrecy, the new National Geographic DVD “Inside the U.S. Secret Service” goes on duty with agents and officers on the front lines and behind closed doors. It features a high-level look at the Secret Service from the current and former directors, and interviews with former presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford and Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry.
The DVD is available for pre-order immediately and at retailers Nov. 2 for $19.98 SRP. Consumers can buy the DVD at most retailers where videos are sold, order the film in DVD or VHS directly by calling 800-627-5162, or buy it online at shopngvideos.com.
The DVD special features include two “Inside Base Camp” interviews with former presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter.
With rare, behind-the-scenes access, “Inside the Secret Service” profiles this highly specialized group of professionals from 1865, when the Secret Service was established as a division of the Treasury Department, to its current role in the Department of Homeland Security as chief protector of the president.
Following a working team of agents, National Geographic cameras take viewers inside the bubble of protection around the president while also providing a revealing look at the agency’s other critical duties, including investigating counterfeiting and financial crimes, assessing threats made against those protected by the Secret Service and thwarting acts of digital terrorism.
“Inside the U.S. Secret Service” offers rare, candid accounts from agents past and present and from those they have protected. Firsthand testimony includes three former presidents: Gerald Ford speaks of two attempts on his life while in office; Bill Clinton and George H. W. Bush talk of the delicate balance between privacy and trust that must exist between the president and his agents in confidential matters of security and family. Sen. Kerry, on the campaign trail, confides about the compromises that families must make in exchange for Secret Service protection — now required for all major candidates 120 days prior to Election Day after Sen. Robert Kennedy’s assassination in 1968. In addition, ABC News veteran Sam Donaldson shares his behind-the-scenes observations garnered during his coverage of the political scene.
Viewers also will hear Secret Service directors and agents relive some of their most monumental moments of service. Current Secret Service Director W. Ralph Basham and former director Brian Stafford provide details about the enormous planning — and lightning-quick responses — required in protecting the president and the nation. It was Stafford who was in charge on 9/11 and responsible for the split-second decisions made that day to protect President Bush. Former agent Jerry Parr recounts how John Hinckley attempted to assassinate President Reagan, giving viewers a personal look at the chaos of the moment and how Parr helped save the president’s life; Clint Hill talks of leaping onto the moving presidential vehicle to push Jacqueline Kennedy out of sight, to protect her life after President Kennedy was shot in Dallas; Larry Cockell, one of the highest-ranked African-American agents in the history of the Secret Service, speaks of his service and being called to testify during the most turbulent times of the Clinton administration; and agent Larry Buendorf describes grabbing Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme’s gun during her attempt on President Ford’s life.
Packed with personal insight and unprecedented access, “Inside the U.S. Secret Service” explores the modern-day Secret Service as it tackles complex issues in a post-9/11 world. “‘Inside the U.S. Secret Service’ is the most in-depth look at who we are and what we do on a daily basis to protect both our nation’s leaders and its financial systems,” remarked Director Ralph Basham.
National Geographic Home Video and DVD titles are distributed by Warner Home Video (WHV), a Time Warner Company, operating in 57 countries including the United States and Canada. WHV is one of the world’s leading suppliers of pre-recorded videocassettes and videodiscs and is a market leader in family entertainment. “Inside the Secret Service” will be distributed outside the United States through National Geographic’s international partners.
Building on its global reputation for remarkable visuals and compelling stories, NGT&F augments its award-winning documentary productions (124 Emmy Awards and more than 900 other industry awards) with feature films, large-format films, kids’ programming and long-form television drama programming. Worldwide, National Geographic’s television programming can be seen on the National Geographic Channel, MSNBC and PBS, home video and DVD, and through international broadcast syndication. The National Geographic Channel is received by more than 230 million households in 27 languages in 151 countries, including the United States. For more information about NGT&F, log on to nationalgeographic.com, AOL Keyword: NatGeo.
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“Inside the Secret Service”
Street Date:Nov. 2, 2004
Pre-Order Date:Oct. 5, 2004
Suggested Retail Price: $19.98 (DVD)
Feature Run Time:Approximately 90 minutes