It was 1988, the curtains were closing on the Reagan era, and US 60 Minutes producer Charles Lewis had a sizzling scoop in his hands. White House trade officials -- almost 50% of them over the past 15 years, Lewis eventually revealed -- had become paid lobbyists for other countries or overseas corporations after leaving government. A cracking yarn, but a tricky one. Especially given his boss was a close friend of a player in the story, a billionaire businessman using his credentials as a former US cabinet secretary to open doors around the world. So close, the boss and the billionaire used to fly together to the Hamptons in the latter's private helicopter to avoid the traffic. That relationship, Lewis is convinced, played a part in why his story struggled to make it to air.