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Watergate Paper

In: Historical Events

Submitted By diedre20020
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Watergate Paper
Paul Salabarria
HIS/145
June 26, 2012
Jeff Wilson

Watergate Paper Watergate was a scandal that involved a break-in into the offices of the Democratic National Committee during the Nixon administration. Watergate was one of the most famous political scandals in American history. Decades after Watergate historians and others continue to argue about its causes and significance (Brinkley, 2007). It marked a period that both weakened our relationships with other countries as well as weakened the public’s belief in the President. A majority of Americans believe that newspapers, radio and television are devoting too much space and time to covering the Watergate scandals (“53%,” 1974). Both Time and Newsweek reported that John Dean, counsel to the president, was ready to say that the President knew of the Watergate cover-up. Newsweek put out an advance press release of this story first, and this became the basis of stories elsewhere. The Washington Post, however, reported the story carefully framed to put the charges in a proper context. Their articles carefully “pointed out the key fact that the statements by Mr. Dean were made while negotiating for immunity” (“Watergate,” 1973). The whole Watergate case is surely an example of why the press is important to a free society. With due respect for Judge Sirica’s persistence in breaking down those convicted in the break-in, it’s doubtful that the story of the scandal would ever have come out as completely if there had been no Washington Post. Surely there is a place for the carefully contrived rules of the courtroom, but Watergate should be a warning to those who would impose those rules on the press as well. The case clearly shows there is also an important place for the free marketplace of ideas, for those who see their task as getting whatever facts they can and getting them as quickly and openly as...

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