All the President’s Men – Contrasts from the 1970s to Today

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United States Congress

THUNDER BAY – MOVIES – “All the President’s Men” is a movie with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman starring as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein the Washington Post reporters who cracked open the Watergate scandal in the 1970s.

It is a movie well worth watching for a number of reasons.

First it is interesting to see how politics back in the 1970s worked and to contrast how things across the United States are today.

Second, in terms of reporting, watching how Woodward and Bernstein had to wear out a lot of shoe leather to talk to potential sources in the days long before the Internet offer a sharp contrast to the way we gather information today.

Second, the story of the Nixon White House and Watergate is one where the veil of secrecy was removed from the political scene on the national level. Prior to Watergate there were far greater privacy afforded to national leaders.

Third, the revelation that President Nixon had a system installed in the Oval Office to record conversations was seen by many as shocking. In fact, it was those very White House tapes that finally led to the admission that the President had been involved in the early stages of the cover-up of the involvement of senior people in the White House in the scandal.

For the Washington Post, back in the day, investigating the story, Woodward and Bernstein were seen as junior reporters on what the Nixon White House called at first a “Third Rate burglary”.

The dogged reporting by the two intrepid reporters finally led to the resignation of President Nixon. It also generated a model for hundreds if not thousands of reporters and journalists to follow moving forward.

From the perspective of today, where in a few clicks of a mouse, a journalist can have almost limitless amounts of information, the work by the Washington Post and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein becomes quite extraordinary.

The Smoking Gun

The sound quality is certainly not up to what you might expect today, but this is the admission that led to the downfall of President Nixon.