Watergate and aggressive political journalism essay

Even today, it is home to former Senator Bob Dole and was once the place where Monica Lewinsky laid low. If it had not been for the alert actions of Frank Wills, a security guard, the scandal may never have erupted.

Watergate and aggressive political journalism essay

Did media muckraking actually bring down a president of the United States? How have politics and investigative reporting changed as a result? While journalism schools continue to teach the lesson of Watergate as a heroic example of courageous press coverage under fire, some scholars have concluded that the media played at best a modest role in ousting Nixon from office.

So what really happened? In the end, perhaps truth lies somewhere between the self-congratulatory boosterism of journalists and the kiss-off of the academics. By now, of course, Watergate has become part of our folklore: Five men wearing business suits and surgical gloves arrested in the middle of the night with illegal bugging devices at the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate building in Washington, D.

After that cover-up unraveled, more than 70 people, including cabinet members and White House assistants, were convicted of criminal abuses of power; only a pardon by his presidential successor spared Nixon himself from becoming the first chief executive in history to be indicted for felonies committed in the Oval Office.

Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein produced "the single most spectacular act of serious journalism [of the 20th] century," said media critic Ben Bagdikian. I believe that the reporting of Watergate and aggressive political journalism essay and Bernstein represents a milestone of American journalism.

A History of the World from the s to the Year The film immortalized the chain-smoking anonymous source called "Deep Throat," who met Woodward at night in deserted parking garages after first signaling for meetings with elaborate codes see sidebar, "Who Is Deep Throat?

Warner Brothers promoted the movie as "the story of the two young reporters who cracked the Watergate conspiracy At times, it looked as if it might cost them their jobs, their reputations, perhaps even their lives. At its broadest, the myth of journalism in Watergate asserts that two young Washington Post reporters brought down the president of the United States.

This is a myth of David and Goliath, of powerless individuals overturning an institution of overwhelming might.

It is high noon in Washington, with two white-hatted young reporters at one end of the street and the black-hatted president at the other, protected by his minions.

Watergate and aggressive political journalism essay

And the good guys win. The press, truth its only weapon, saves the day.

Watergate: The Scandal That Brought Down Richard Nixon

Not very, according to Kutler, author of what is widely considered the most definitive history of the scandal, "The Wars of Watergate. Television and newspapers publicized the story and, perhaps, even encouraged more diligent investigation.

But it is clear that as Watergate unfolded from tomedia revelations of crimes and political misdeeds repeated what was already known to properly constituted investigative authorities. In short, carefully timed leaks, not media investigations, provided the first news of Watergate.

Woodward and Bernstein "systematically ignored or minimized" the work of law enforcement officials to "focus on those parts" of the story "that were leaked to them," Epstein charged. In an analysis of polling data measuring so-called "media effects" on public opinion, communication scholars Gladys and Kurt Lang wrote that "the press was a prime mover in the controversy only in its early phase," when the Post linked the Watergate burglars to Nixon operatives.

Nonetheless, publicity can push authorities to take action if only to avoid being embarrassed by media disclosures. Besides, the battle was political as well as legal, says Jack Nelson, who covered Watergate for the Los Angeles Times: For all of their controlling Congress, the Demo-crats were not in any sense going to go after Nixon unless the public was behind it.

And the public got behind it because of the press. The idea that they were this great investigative team was a bunch of baloney. According to a quantitative analysis by University of Illinois professor Louis W.

Liebovich, in the critical first six months after the break-in, the Post published some news articles about Watergate, more than double the number of its nearest competitor, the New York Times.

In addition, Post stories were more often investigative in nature and "revealed new details about covert activities directed by the White House," while other news organizations "rarely carried their own enterprise stories.

The late Clark Mollenhoff, an investigative reporter who not only covered Watergate for the Des Moines Register but also at one point worked for Nixon, compiled a list of more than three dozen journalists besides Woodward and Bernstein who, he said, "made equally great contributions to the success of the Watergate probe.

But, says University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato, other reporters "got too little credit and the Washington Post got too much. Dean, as the scandal developed, the reporter "who does the most devastating pieces that strike awfully close to home was Sy Hersh," whom the New York Times assigned to the story.Media - Watergate and Aggressive Political Journalism.

Media Effects on the Watergate Scandal Essay - The way that the Watergate scandal was presented to the media was very good and helped to unravel the scandal. Jun 13,  · As important as Watergate was in political history, it was equally important in journalistic history.

Watergate marked the birth of a different kind of reporting -- more aggressive and much less. involving crime, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing.

An investigative journalist may Watergate in Journalism Essay Watergate played a I N T R O D U C T I O N “A free, aggressive, open and bold press is part of the spiritual core of our Democracy”. Essay on Journalism; Essay on Journalism. Citizen Journalism Essay. Words | 6 Pages.

aggressive, open and bold press is part of the spiritual core of our Democracy”. How the Debasement of the American Citizenry has Facilitated Political Chaos; Required Midterm Essay Questions; The Media's Influence on Public Opinion;. involving crime, political corruption, or corporate wrongdoing.

An investigative journalist may Watergate in Journalism Essay Watergate played a I N T R O D U C T I O N “A free, aggressive, open and bold press is part of the spiritual core of our Democracy”.

Start studying Chapter The Media. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. Supreme Court permitted the New York Times to publish classified Pentagon Papers concerning U.S.

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