News Article

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Presidential pop culture -- A look back at how our commanders-in-chief have influenced movies, music, and television

American presidents don't just affect war, peace, and Wall Street. They influence important stuff like movies, music, and television. Over the decades, our Commanders-in-Chief have shaped our idea of ourselves and inspired optimism, cynicism, and even some sitcoms. EW looks back at presidential pop culture.

1961-1963: John F. Kennedy
In JFK's day, Doris Day was queen. Camelot was king. And everything seemed possible. Also: Peanuts, West Side Story.

1969-1974: Richard M. Nixon
He destroyed public trust in the presidency, but some of the best films of the 20th century were made during his reign. Pretty tricky, Dick. Also: The Godfather, Tony Orlando & Dawn, All in the Family, The Exorcist.

1981-1989: Ronald Reagan
He presided over Rambo, Madonna, the Brat Pack, and unapologetic patriotism. Also: The Cosby Show, Top Gun, Rubik's Cube, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Lee Iacocca.

1993-2001: William Jefferson Clinton
Like his presidency, it was a mixed bag: Backstreet Boys, Titanic, and the rise of reality TV. Also: Titanic, The West Wing, Who Moved My Cheese?, Julia Roberts, 'N Sync.

2001-2009: George W. Bush
Are you his Facebook friend? Thank him for American Idol, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, and 50 Cent. Also: Carrie Underwood, The Dark Knight, Jarhead, 24, Guitar Hero.

Originally posted Nov 21, 2008 Published in issue #1023 Nov 28, 2008 Order article reprints
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