Like most people who grew up after the events depicted in this book, I had no understanding of Watergate aside from the well-publicized break in of th...moreLike most people who grew up after the events depicted in this book, I had no understanding of Watergate aside from the well-publicized break in of the Democratic Headquarters during the Nixon reelection campaign. Now “gate” is attached to every political and non-political scandal—Monicagate, Strippergate, Nipplegate—so there had to be something more to the original “gate”. Little did I know that the Nixon administration green-lighted a cash-financed campaign to slander, disrupt, and disorient the Democratic campaign during Nixon’s sure-fire reelection bid; the hotel break-in was just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. During the 1960s it was illegal to funnel money from undisclosed donors to slander the opposing party; now the Murdoch Empire with Fox Five “news” and Republican-sponsored super PACs makes millions off of the same tactics with the approval of the Supreme Court.
The point of this work is to show how newsmen broke the story by persistently following up on their sources to get to the origins of the crime—guilty party: The Nixon Whitehouse—but the journalistic style of the book, spelled out on the original timeline of when things were learned—lacks the narrative excitement of the events as they occurred. The US government has never been trusted since this scandal but I never felt the weight of that shift in these chapters. The book I read was an old paperback that was literally disintegrating while I progressed—it has since been sent to recycling—but I would have benefited from a timeline that spelled out exactly when and where these events took place in sequence and how that impacted the political process as we know it today. Plus one for investigative journalism, we can’t lose that objectivity. (less)