Sunday, April 26, 2009

Watergate engulfs Nixon 1973

In the beginning the Watergate scandal was a huge question mark. Journalists could only report the facts, no theories or strong opinions (yet). All anyone knew was that 5 men had broke in to Democratic National Committee offices at the Watergate hotel with “…at lease sophisticated devices capable of picking up and transmitting all talk, including telephone conversations, lock-picks and door jimmies, cash, one walkie-talkie, a short wave receiver that could pick up police calls, 40 rolls of unexposed film, two 35 millimeter cameras and three pen-sized tear gas guns” (Lewis). In one of the first articles after the break-in Alfred Lewis reports, the police suspected that the men were attempting to take photographs of documents. This one event fueled the investigation of the entire Nixon presidency, even brought to the surface some conspiracies and theories about money laundering, illegal campaigning, to Nixon’s personal taxes. Watergate refers to the cluster of events that followed the actual Watergate break in, and even though its number 88 on the public vote it deserves its 67th placement for the journalistic rating.

As Watergate started to unfold, Nixon was dragged into the scandal kicking and screaming which ultimately resulted in his resignation. Two reporters for the Washington post were chief to the Watergate investigations: Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward (who both went down in journalistic history for their amazing coverage).

In most of the coverage I followed from the Washington Post, the stories didn’t include a lot of quotes from outside sources, or opinions but included things that were said by Nixon himself. I don’t think that it was to tread lightly because of the gravity of the situation but rather to let the reader draw his or her own conclusions about what was happening. Journalist reported in a way of using all the facts and piles and piles of information and delivered it written form so even the simplest reader could understand. In the Articles I read Journalist didn’t need to anything more then the facts, because it was such a great story on it’s on as with any other presidential scandal. It wasn’t necessary to fill out the articles with what whoever has to say the evidence was stacked against Nixon and so all that was left was to uncover all buried information and let things fall where they may.

Watergate made for exceptional news. Right in the thick of it all, this scandal had it all, a crook for a president with a crooked cabinet. Spies, phone taps a mysterious informer the papers dubbed Deep Throat and no non-sense journalists tracking all who were involved,
every trial, every hearing or TV appearance, their pens waiting for any slip ups, and this made a gripping story on a massive scale. This type of investigative reporting has such a pull for me. Journalists have such a profound calling to find the truth and no matter what it’s buried under the truth on out the tip of a pen.

Sources:Lewis, Alfred E. "5 Held in Plot to Bug Democrats' Office Here." Washington Post 18 June 1977: A-01.
Bernstein, Carl , and Bob Woodward. "FBI Finds Nixon Aides Sabotaged Democrats." Washington Post 0 (1972): A-01. The Watergate story. Washington Post. 20 Apr. 2009​wp-dyn/​politics/​specials/​watergate/​articles/.Bernstein, Carl , and Bob Woodward. "FBI Finds Nixon Aides Sabotaged Democrats." Washington Post 0 (1972): A-01. The Watergate story. Washington Post. 20 Apr. 2009 .

1 comment:

  1. i find it interesting that we always seem to find things out too late. i mean with not knowing that nixon was involved until later, or finding out much later that vietnam was a mistake, or so many other things. It will be interesting to know what they will say about us 10 years from now or more about the war we are in now.