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Watergate: A Study Of Political Corruption

2605 words - 10 pages

Like many of the President’s that preceded and followed Richard Nixon, his presidency consisted of many highs and lows. Although Nixon’s first term in office played out against the contentious issue of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and the aftermath of the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, his presidential legacy consists of the helm of what is widely regarded as the biggest scandal in American politics, Watergate. Despite the volatility of the times, Nixon was a president who was gifted in his vision when it came to foreign and domestic policy issues and was an individual who most people seemed to believe could lead the country. Nixon, however, seemed to not have the same faith in himself and to his detriment; he let his intense distrust and outright paranoia of the media lead him to participate in the Watergate scandal that ultimately led to his resignation from office in 1974. Nixon’s lack of confidence in himself and his distrust of the media laid the foundation for a far reaching criminal conspiracy that essentially permeated the highest offices in government. Despite efforts at the highest levels of government to keep the scandal from the public, the tenacious reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein uncovered a far reaching criminal conspiracy that culminated in the resignation of Richard M. Nixon as President of the United States.
Uncovering this conspiracy was not easy and, if not for the tenacious efforts of two reporters from the Washington Post, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, Nixon’s actions may very well have never come to light. These two reporters worked together to expose the hushed up scandal that culminated with a break-in at the Democratic Headquarters at the Watergate apartment complex, Washington, DC in June, 1972. The duo’s efforts are well documented in the book, All the President’s Men, which was written by the two reporters and details the well orchestrated conspiracy designed to ensure Nixon’s re-election to a second term.
Bernstein and Woodward, nicknamed “Woodstein,” are the two reporters that will forever be credited with breaking the most infamous political scandal to ever hit the United States and are largely credited with ushering in new era of accountability and transparency for elected officials. The story however did not come easily. Both Woodward and Bernstein were relatively young, unseasoned reporters with no major stories to their credit. In fact, when the initial break in at Watergate was discovered, most media outlets considered it not important and paid little or no attention to it. The editor of the Washington Post at the time, Benjamin C. Bradlee put Bernstein and Woodward in charge of the story only because he did not think much would come of it. However, Woodward and Bernstein began to see linkages between the individuals involved in the break-ins and began to delve deeper into all aspects of the break-in. The two having never worked...

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