TV tonight: ‘The World According to Dick Cheney’ on Showtime

Dick Cheney in revealing Showtime documentary tonight

Photo: Wikipedia/The World According to Dick Cheney

WASHINGTONMarch 15, 2013 — Tonight’s Showtime documentary about Dick Cheney promises to give insight into what makes one of the most controversial political figures in recent history tick. If you plan on tuning in to see a more apologetic and calmer Dick Cheney, don’t bother.

Instead, you will see how Gerald Ford’s former White House chief of staff rose in the ranks from a congressman representing Wyoming to arguably the most powerful vice president in our history. What you will also see is someone still true to his convictions that made his time in office so controversial.

For a man that received five draft deferments to avoid Vietnam, one wouldn’t expect such a hawk when it comes to foreign policy, but Cheney is just that. As U.S. Secretary of Defense under the senior Bush, Cheney directed the invasion of Panama and Operation Desert Storm in the Middle East.

Post 9/11 as vice president under Bush Jr., Cheney was a vocal proponent for invading Iraq, citing its stockpile of weapons of mass destruction as a world threat. The history of that assumption has already been written. He also became a strong voice for the war on terror, advocating legislation that expanded presidential powers as well as controversial policies concerning detaining and interrogating suspected terrorists.

It is hard to imagine a more controversial figure than Dick Cheney agreeing to do a documentary for Showtime. Close on the heels of Oliver Stone’s “The Untold History of the United States,” Cheney had to know there was a strong possibility the program would be less than favorable.

He certainly doesn’t need the money; his net worth is between $30 and 100 million dollars. He doesn’t attempt to rewrite his legacy. In fact, Cheney expresses few regrets about the decisions he made and the policies he influenced during his political career.

So why invite controversy and criticism at this point in his life by participating in the making of the documentary? Does he want the attention to gain a platform from which to voice his less than favorable opinion of President Obama’s foreign policy? Maybe Cheney is just itching for a good fight. Perhaps this question will be answered by watching.

The one clear thing that will emerge from this film is a man that has few moments of self doubt. When asked what his biggest fault is, Cheney hesitates before revealing it’s that he doesn’t spend a lot of time thinking about his faults.

“The World According to Dick Cheney” won’t change anyone’s opinion of him. Critics of Cheney will feel just as validated as his fans after watching. This curious dynamic is just another reflection of the polarization of politics in America today. This in itself is reason enough to watch.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EST:

8 p.m.

ABC: Last Man Standing: (New) Ryan winds up impressing Mike; after Mandy fails history and her laptop and cell phone are taken away, she starts using Mike’s old ham radio.

CBS: Undercover Boss: (Repeat) Tilted Kilt president Ron Lynch works undercover at his restaurants.

FOX: Kitchen Nightmares: (New) Chef Ramsay convinces a Greek restaurant owner it’s time for a change.

NBC: Fashion Star: (New) Whether it’s showing skin or provoking the imagination, the 11 designers are challenged to bring sexy back to the runway.

CW: Nikita: (New) Amanda holds Alex hostage and tells Nikita she will release Alex in exchange for Ari. Michael assigns Nikita and Sean to handle the exchange of prisoners, but Ryan adds Owen to the team at the last minute, which makes Michael suspicious.

8:30 p.m.

ABC: Malibu Country: (New) Reba is excited to finally meet Geoffrey’s boss, Mr. Bata, but is disappointed when he asks her to write a jingle for a commercial; Kim worries about Sage’s future.

9 p.m.

ABC: Shark Tank: (Repeat) Professional dancers Jonathan Roberts and Anna Trebunskaya demonstrate their posture correction device; entertainment reporter Robin Leach and a designer from Florida present stone-studded leather jewelry; a gluten-free cookie business.

CBS: Hawaii Five-0: (Repeat) Danny is forced to remain perfectly still while explosives experts disarm a bomb that he accidentally activated. To keep him calm, McGarrett distracts him by getting him to tell about the toughest case he ever worked back in New Jersey.

FOX: Touch: (New) A power outage sets the stage for chaos at Breakwire.

NBC: Grimm: (New) A group of Wesen go on a string of robberies fully morphed in front of humans, a serious violation of the Wesen Code.

CW: Cult: (New) Jeff tells Skye about Ama (guest star Neelam Khabra), a woman he met on a “Cult” fan site, who claims that her husband is missing after becoming obsessed with the show. When they finally meet her, Jeff notices that she has a “Cult” notebook that looks eerily like Nate’s notebook.

SHOWTIME: The World According to Dick Cheney: (New) A revealing profile of Dick Cheney, one of the world’s most controversial and powerful political figures. Award-winning documentary filmmaker R.J. Cutler gives us a surprisingly personal look into the life of the former Vice President from his early days in Washington to his time in the White House with President George W. Bush.

10 p.m.

ABC: 20/20: (New) GPS navigation systems; surviving a pile-up on the highway; buying a used car; unbelievable incidents caught on tape along the Siberian highway; America’s worst bridges.

CBS: Blue Bloods: (New) Tragedy links seemingly random victims, and Danny tries to find a common thread among the cases. Elsewhere, Frank’s old buddy displays signs of alcoholism, so Frank helps him deal with it.

NBC: Rock Center with Brian Williams: (New) The struggle of women to balance work and family is explored via an interview with former CFO Erin Callan. Also: Kate Snow spotlights the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival; Mary Carillo examines panic attacks, with insight from golfer Charlie Beljan.

Basic cable:

New episodes of: 

Yukon Men: Revealed at 8 p.m. on DSC

Four Weddings at 8 p.m. on TLC

Kingdom of the Oceans at 8 and 9 p.m. on NGC

Unchained Reaction at 8 and 9 and 10 p.m. on SCI

Yukon Men at 9 p.m. on DSC

Flea Market Flip at 9 pm. On HGTV

Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on TLC

Ghost Adventures at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel

Bering Sea Gold at 10 p.m. on DSC

The Dead Files at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel

House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV

For movie lovers:

8 p.m.

Bad Teacher on ENC

Traffic on FLIX

Battleship on HBO

Stromboli on TCM

The Ledge on TMC

9 p.m.

Bad Boys II on BRAVO

This Means War on HBO

Spartacus: War of the Damned on SHO

Later tonight:

Resident Evil: Apocalypse at 9:45 p.m. on MOMAX

Independence Day at 10 p.m. on SPIKE

Wild at Heart at 10 p.m. on SUND

Europa at 10 p.m. on TCM

Reservoir Dogs at 10:30 p.m. on FLIX


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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

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