MER Special: Carl Bernstein at University of Minnesota

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Journalist Carl Bernstein, co-winner of the Pulitzer prize, speaking at the University of Minnesota. Bernstein's speech is on Watergate and the current state of political affairs. Speech is followed by Bernstein answering questions from the audience.

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Carl Bernstein investigative reporter for the Washington Post was called winner of the Pulitzer Prize this year along with Bob Woodward. He cracked the Watergate Story the West Bank Union and the Coffman Union program Council take great pride in presenting. Mr. Bernstein. There will be a question answer. Following his presentation. a gram up Do you like Ron Ziegler with all these microphones have beer? reporter so I'm not too used to the speaking business and I think we'll do mostly questions because I think that that you all probably have some things you'd like to know a lot better than listening to me attempting to a rate. Let me say a few things about Watergate and how we covered the story which might interest you. I suppose that the first question that a lot of people answer and I think we're getting a better idea about it. All the time is what is Watergate because the word now means a good deal more than it did on June 17th. And the day after with mr. Ziegler called it a third-rate burglary. On the 17th of June in 72 five men were arrested inside the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. wearing blue and white rubber surgical gloves dressed in business suits not your Ordinary vandeberg lyrics and on that same day myself and Bob Woodward. We're in the office. And we're asked by our editors. to see what we could find out. about this rather strange burglary and I think is everybody knows we're still finding things out. But it hasn't been easy. And I think there's a lot that we've all learned in the process. A lot of it very tragic. A lot of it some things I don't think any of us ever expected to find in this country. and what we found out Not just the Washington Post but other newspapers magazines the Senate the grand jury. Has been discovered. under some rather enormous odds Because some people were very determined. None of us you nor I would ever find out what Watergate was all about. But we were fortunate enough within 2 days. of the arrested Watergate Define Did one of the suspects? Had an address book that was confiscated by the police. And inside that address book was the name Howard hunt. and the initials w h and We had a feeling that wh meant White House. and on that Tuesday, I believe it was after the bugging. Bob McCauley call the White House and ask for Howard hunt. and the operator ran his office and there was no answer. And then she said well we might be in Mystic Olson's office. Let me try there. So bring mr. Colson's office and they said they hadn't seen Mr. Hunt on that particular day. And later that week. Of course, the White House said that Howard hunt hadn't work there or been on the payroll since March 29th. We were a little curious about that. And it did not take us very long. I don't think two. to make a few assumptions in the case. That we weren't being told the truth. And on that basis, I think. Did ourselves as well as a lot of other people? Decided to further investigation of what it happened on the 17th was warranted. And first real connection that was made. I think that established. The seriousness of the situation was on August 1st. When we were able. To determine that $89,000. They had been in the bank account of one of these third-rate burglars. Head come from the committee for the re-election of the president. and that produced the first I suppose an unprecedented. campaign of attacking a particular element of the news media and it was aimed at the Washington Post. and of course the committee for the re-election of President denied that those funds had anything to do with a bugging of the Democratic headquarters. and as we found out more Watergate still didn't make very much sense. I think it didn't make much sense to us. And the most people in the country. Because it seemed rather. Stupid to say the least to go on an isolated Mission into the Democratic headquarters. Where nobody but a bill collector would really want to go to find out information as far as we could determine. And it seems unrelated to anything president seem reasonably sure of re-election at the time of the burglary occurred. Gradually, we began to accumulate some more information. We found out. Matt strange things happening in the Democratic primaries about sabotage and espionage in about somebody named Donald segretti. and by October 10th We were able to put together a story which I think finally made a little bit of sense out of Watergate. And it said that the bugging of Democratic headquarters was just part of a much larger campaign of political Espionage and sabotage. It was unprecedented in scope. It was designed to cause havoc in the Democratic primaries. Later, we found out that the specific objective of what happened in the Democratic primaries. to secure the nomination of George McGovern and The Knockout Senator. Muskie And as a result of printing this type of information, especially in the month of October, which was just before the election. We were called a lot of names. Our stories and sources were referred to by the committee and misses Sigler Mister doll. Clark McGregor vice president references to sources of the Washington Post or Fountain of misinformation Never a real denial. Always kind of a non-denial denial never would address the facts. And meanwhile, we had found out that that same money in Maurice Stans is safe. head finance a whole program of undercover activities and if those funds we're controlled. by 5 people Mr. Haldeman Mister Mitchell Mister stands Sloan Miss Magruder and when we wrote that Mister Mitchell Control those funds which I believe we wrote that on September 29th. We got another non-denial denial. And it has been authorized by mr. Mitchell. So I call back one of the flax at the committee for the re-election of president. You said that I fucked it. Do we have some specific questions which need an answering and if we'd like to talk to mr. Mitchell? Excuse me. And he said we'll go ahead call and call him if you think you can get hold of him. Well, we did manage to get hold of Mr. Mitchell was about 10:30 on the night of September 29th apartment. In New York and he answered the phone and I said, how do you do sir? Carl Bernstein with Washington Post told him we had a story. We were running the next in the next day's paper. proceeded to read the first three paragraphs to him Mr. Mitchell said Jesus Christ. It all I've crap. You're putting that in the paper. all been denied You put that in the paper Katie Graham meeting Katherine Graham. The publisher of the Washington Post is going to get her tit caught in a big fat ringer. Wasn't used to talking to Attorneys General. And I should have said something about well, sir. I really like to talk to you about. What it says in the story and he says what when all of this is over we're going to do a little story on all of you. And that was about the end of the conversation. But we were aware and I think gradually people in the country became aware. as Watergate progressed that we were running in. To a wall of lies and deceits and it we were dealing with a situation that really has I think we're seeing now is unprecedented. in this country talking now. about a whole new element that we found has occurred in our political system because Justice Watergate the bugging on June 17th was only part of an isolated campaign of political Espionage and sabotage. Now we find out that what happened in the 1972 campaign was only part of a larger program. A burglaries and bugging and spying and surveillance has been going on throughout the four years of the Nixon Administration. and I think finally Did the country? Is recognizing the seriousness of what has been discovered. under the term Watergate I don't want to go into too much amount how we covered the story. Honey is all of you can understand. We have a problem with in any way revealing who are sources are. But I think that one of the lessons of Watergate is that there's been a tremendous failure. by the Press in this country, especially during the Nixon years. Because we found and neither Bob nor myself. Our national reporters were Metropolitan reporters and we really applied rather basic repertorio old journalism techniques to this thing. We knocked on a lot of doors. So difficult to get information out of the committee to reelect the president swear an outfit that set up along the same lines as a KGB. Did I remember once in July we got hold of a phone list? Of just phone extensions in and it would List names and and people secretaries and we spent about three days reading that thing like a tarot card. Because it was so difficult to get information. And we didn't. Deal with high-level sources is the San Souci. Certainly at the beginning of this thing. and I think that it says a little bit about the Way Washington is been covered not just during the Nixon years, but also throughout the 60s, but particularly with this Administration. That there been a lot of signs. That what we read about. Is not the same thing as what's really happening. in Washington The only times the Press has been very successful to any extent in really examining. the Nixon Administration Itt Cambodia India Pakistan green deal Watergate we found that just about exactly the opposite. Obtained at the moment from what we were being told by the White House. And I think there should have been a lesson. in those particular stories that Did we have to be a lot more skeptical about what we're told? buy official spokesman and by people Marana position 2 abused public trust and have with very little hesitation. And I don't think that we did anything. In Watergate if early in the game. There hadn't been. 50 reporters doing the same thing that we were doing. I don't think that what the Washington Post did would seem so exceptional now because it really is the kind of reporting that I think. everybody is talk to do you just take some basic steps and you persevere a little bit. And there's a lot of luck involved. And now we sort of see ourselves I think. Maybe there's a little bit of an orgy of self-congratulation going on in the Press. about Watergate and I'm not too sure how good a thing. This is I would hope to Should we vote all learn something by certainly, there were some Publications Time Magazine. Most notably did some fantastic work on Watergate. The New York Times have an awful lot of trouble with a story. came through was really valuable contributions, especially Remember When we had said on October 15th that Dwight Chapin was segretti contact for spying activities have been denounced Again by the White House this time. The White House said we were fundamentally inaccurate. And the next day the New York Times came up with about 20 phone calls from mr. Segretti to mr. Chapin to the White House and the Howard hunt was a little difficult to label is AT&T records fundamentally inaccurate. So that there were some other Publications but Ben bagdikian probably one of the finest press critics and country did a piece in the Columbia journalism review. even while we were writing daily stories on Watergate and I think somebody counted up that we've written nothing better than 400000 words about the length of four novels. Somebody told me. There were only 14 reporters working full-time on Watergate. until the recent fast-breaking events were now obviously we have several hundred. working on Watergate and we made a few rules for ourselves in this particular investigation. then I think kept us alive through the whole episode because I think we were as aware as anyone that that one. real mistake and our credibility and I don't just mean myself and Bob Woodward's without of the Washington Post. would have been destroyed as well as The credibility of the press in general which already probably in about the lowest esteem it's ever been held in this country Would even be further damage. And one thing we did very early on as we decided we weren't going to put anything in the paper unless we could confirm it with two sources. And it prevented an awful lot of leaks from the White House from getting into the paper and enabled us to be absolutely sure. Of what we were putting in the paper. And we're still using the same standard. especially now that worth is very touching point in our history as to where Watergate goes. And I think we're starting to see I'm very disturbed to see that. Did all of a sudden in some Publications. sort of Open Season on the Nixon Administration without too much regard for the facts in the case. And I think if there were ever a time for caution and if there were ever a Time. not put preconceived notions in the newspaper not to convict people before the evidence is in. I think we've reached it now. I think we all might have our personal feelings about Watergate and what it represents. And I don't think anyone. even though Republican party has probably been in the Forefront the recent months Usain Watergate represents a horrible. perversion of our system of the electoral process but I think now we ought to suspend judgment at least those of us who are writing story. And wherever the facts take us they're going to take us and I think that it's a time for special caution. I don't think that we should withhold anyting. I think that would be a terrible thing to do and I don't think that certainly The Washington Post is not about to withhold any information. But I think you're going to find. The same standards are going to apply in his last phase of Watergate that have applied all along as far as we're concerned. But in this orgy of self-congratulation or whatever that the Press seems to be going through. I think we ought to remember the regardless of the motives of the administration in attacking the Press going back to Vice President Agnew his comments. There's a good deal. of justification in the argument that the Press represents a very narrow. segment Of thought in this country, I don't happen to believe it has anything to do with an Eastern intellectual Elite. But rather than its Centrist. And it's Outlook. if they're still subjects, the daily newspapers are not willing to take on that. There are certain institutions that daily newspapers and not willing to investigate. I think that's starting to change. And hopefully Watergate will have had something to do with that. And more important. I think it's because people were able to find out what Watergate was all about and what it represents a process that had gotten to a very very dangerous point and I don't just mean the buggies and the burglaries but certain attitudes of this particular White House. certain abuses and personal freedom certain disregard for the Constitution regardless of what happens from here on in I don't think it's possible. Did this can happen again at least in the immediate future? by the same people Nothing. I'd rather answer your questions and talk anymore. Thanks. I think it might be helpful to explain a little bit what did happen in the campaigns? and that is late in 19 71 specially after the the midterm elections in 1970 when the president took some extraordinary steps to create his new American majority. In the Congress particularly in the Senate was rather disastrous results for the White House. The situation facing a president was hardly what it was when Watergate bugging occur. You'll remember the presidents standing in the polls with the lowest of his administration. He was in very difficult shape in the polls on the war prices were Rising. and Senator muskie It had an election Eve broadcast on the midterms in 1970. That is very calm collected and suddenly he surged ahead in the polls. and is one person very close to the president told us. It really look at that time as if we were walking into a one-term presidency on every issue. and included in this thought was the idea that could very possibly there would be a third party candidacy of George Wallace if you failed to get the Democratic nomination. So things in the white house will not bright at the time. and yet some of the more politically astute people in the White House George McGovern done a fantastic Grassroots organizing campaign knew an awful lot more than the Press did about the importance of the new Democratic party rules. and they decided The day would involve a strategy. Did they would use whatever means they could. To manipulate the internal politics of the opposition party not musky out and throw the Democratic nomination to McGovern. You really is never been anything like this attempted mine and come to Administration before least as far as many scholars have been able to determine. And I think you're familiar with the kind of things that went on beside muggings and burglaries. Telegrams sent to the White House supporting the president's position on mining of haiphong Harbor sent by the committee. 3 elected president Ron Ziegler gets up and announces that they're running five to one in favor of the president. when fun one of the funniest things everything is funny in this thing that they did is they bought two thousand copies of the Washington Post. because there was a pole a local television station was sponsoring on emailing pull on the mining. So the committee to reelect went out and bought two thousand copies of the paper. Everybody for four days if the committee did nothing but fill out these damn things. Sending them into it into the television station. Men engaged then they were stuck with two thousand copies of the Washington Post and they didn't know what to do with them. So they they called James McCord up and said Who is later as you know? Arrested at the Watergate. Said hey Jim, get these papers out of here cuz they're taking up a lot of space. So in the dead of night several trucks. Came to the committee to reelect and haul this stuff away because he didn't have any shredders in the place big enough. that might be a little humorous but a lot of the other things that happened if they were isolated, they might be humorous, but In New Hampshire, I think everybody knows about the Canuck letter. Truce engineered by the White House indeed. One of my former colleagues Kim Closson former reporter for the Washington Post now deputy director Communications in the White House. Hold another of our reporters that he wrote the letter. very damaging to musky in New Hampshire the Canada schedules were thrown into disarray members of their families were followed dossiers were compiled. False items were planted in newspapers contributors were investigated. fake campaign literature was distributed including the piece of literature that Don segretti has been indicted for in, Florida. is Route a typical of what happened in this campaign in the primaries it was Sent out on on a facsimile of Muskie stationary. Said the senator Humphrey. I've been involved in illicit sexual conduct. It also said that Senator Jackson had also been involved in illicit sexual conduct. Classic example of what the CIA caused black propaganda which is what we practiced in foreign elections for long time, but we've never done at home before. and it has the effect on. On voters who won? Same what's this guy must be doing sending out these kind of gutter charges to what's this about Humphrey in this unless it's sexual conduct 3, what's this about? Jackson and his illicit sexual conduct the Democrats at the time suspected each other of doing it. Rather than having any inkling that this was doing being done by Nixon people happened all over the country in one form or another. People got calls New Hampshire in the middle of night at 4 a.m. From people saying this is Harlem voters from musky. We want your support. This kind of thing has an effect. And I think that if we all know that the electoral system in this country is fragile enough so that if you start to throw a wrench into it at this magnitude, you're really tampering with the most basic process that supposedly distinguishes us. less democratic societies but there's a real Point here that this is exactly the kind of thing that we've done abroad to other people. And indeed some of the same people involved in Watergate CIA type people have been engaged in this before and now it's been brought home. And the question is whether we're going to allow it, but we've sort of called Watergate politics to become a permanent part of our electoral system. Mei repeat the questions in light of Watergate. What do I think the 76 campaign will be? Like, I think it's a little early to tell I think one thing is that did clearly People are going to be looking for this type of activity again. And I'm not going to associate themselves very very readily with candidates. Who have this kind of History not think that we'll have some different election laws as well by then. Yes. We were subpoenaed by question was do we ever have any fear of being in prison for not revealing our sources we were subpoenaed along with the guests and other reporters. Buy mr. Stands in his counter civil suit. Against Democrats nasty produce all our notes tapes, etc, etc, etc. And obviously refuse And we won. We filed a motion to quash The subpoena was a civil case. And that's the only action that we know of its been taken against us in that regard. I think elements the question was when I said only 14 reporters were assigned to the store. This is during the. Through the election. What were they thinking in the questioner said they knew what was going on. I think that our stories were subject to a tremendous amount of criticism in the Press Itself by more experienced, Washington reporters. Who were very skeptical of what we were writing they were largely and almost wholly based on Anonymous sources, although we said as closely as we could who the sources were by saying FBI source is your White House sources are committed a real exorcism. I mean gradually as we went along our credibility within the profession increased it was a tremendous problem that there are stories came out the initial disclosures during an election campaign. And I think it Administration was very successful and in making them appear part of the political battling and time what we were writing to the McGovern campaign and accusing us the mist of Doles words of being handmaidens of George McGovern. I mean that was to be expected and I I think things take a long time to sink in. put on let me get somebody else if it's alright. Yeah. I think everybody heard that what do I think it'll have Watergate effect full have on Ted Kennedy is a candidate if he is one. I don't want to get into speculation. Quite honestly because I think that the more I start to speculate. It goes beyond what we've written and what we know as fact, I think it hurts my credibility and I think it hurts The credibility of the press covering this in general and it's sort of a ruling that we made throughout this and and I don't see where it takes us any place. I think again some general comments that people There's going to be a tendency. I would think for people to be looking for white nights as candidates. I think that gets back to what I was saying earlier about the Press at the same time. I think, you know the tremendous number of newspapers wrote. The stories wallet was occurring of FBI and other police type informers infiltrating the radical movement the anti-war movement. What we found in Watergate was something a bit different. And there's a big difference between people's preconceived notions of what a particular person might do. And having hard evidence that person or people in his behalf. And when you dealing especially with a the White House be government institutions with tremendous power at their disposal. You have to do it with facts. And that's what we were able to do. Yes. Again, I'll limit myself to to what we put in the paper. Did Ennis? I think the president's own statement last week is perhaps the best. Hard information that anybody is seen yet on the subject. President acknowledged that he had limited the scope for the Watergate investigation. You said he did it for reasons of National Security? he and that he was worried that the CIA would be compromised. So I think that's still the hardest example. did anyone's seeing yet what the president did in terms of Water Gator that cover up and I think as you've been reading it both the justice department. And the Senate has been very skeptical about the claim of National Security. Yes. Question is whether laborate on what we had to do to get the story. Why we not going off a lot of doors. We talked to a lot of low-level people. Why do secretaries a lot of Clerks when you deal with with the kind of conspiracy that occurred? in Watergate only a very few people having total knowledge of the whole conspiracy, but there are a lot of people around it. No little pieces of it might not even realize that that they were a piece of a conspiracy. And as you're able to find more and more people with tiny little pieces it all starts to come together and you not going enough doors and you make a couple hundred phone calls a day. And you search for whatever kinds of pieces of paper you can find and you trying to get to know the investigators and you try to find out who might. Have been horrified at some of the things they knew were going on gradually you develop more sources you develop more information. And as you become more credible. More people are willing to talk to you. And more information is forthcoming. Obviously now, we're we're at a point where our sources and develop So then I think we have a pretty good idea. What's going on inside the White House now. We're no longer dealing with. clerks and secretaries and low level investigators on are we still check in with people at that level as well? That's really about all I can say about it front row. I'm not sure. The question was was a bad eagleton's health records and the questioner said the time had said they were in early feeling safe. I didn't know that the time and said that we had written several weeks ago that before. The news accounts on Eagle medical history started to appear that ehrlichman had copies of those health records. We have no Direct. Evidence ehrlichman was the source of the leak. It eventually resulted in it being published. However, we do know that. people representing the White House We're talkin about pedaling those records. Question was what implications does the Eagleton Affair have on the results of the election? Obviously, I think the Eagleton Affair had a lot to do with hurting Senator Montgomery. the question of Whether the White House was the source of the leak. We don't know the answer to that question positively and we don't know that it wouldn't have become known. Anyhow, if the White House was this or something so I don't I don't think we're ever going to know the effect of Watergate And Watergate Politics on the 72 election. We just know that it had an effect, but I don't know think we'll ever know to be able to gauge exactly what it was. Yes. Question was do I think that this will move the electric to the left. Again, you getting into it to an area of speculation. I I don't think that what happened in Watergate. is ideological I think it speaks much more about certain people and their willingness. To suspend the constitution in effect. for their own ends It had very little to do with audiology. Again, Mike my answers. I don't think it has very much to do with it without a doubt and I would be surprised if it caused a significant move to the left. I don't think it's a problem with left or right. I think it's very significant. In fact the people who Have been the most. vocal about attacking the president on this particular subject come largely from the right-wing of his own party. Also think that there's a tendency on the part of genuine conservatives. I have a pretty decent understanding of the first ten amendments to the Constitution. and antique genuine conservatives understands with Watergate means in terms of those first 10 amendments I remember when I was covering the Virginia legislature. You couldn't get a wiretap bill through that legislature. Not the most Progressive legislature in the world. And they might not recognize any amendments after 10. pretty good understanding of those first 10 Yes. We have no evidence question was do we have any suspicion that our phones were ever that? We have no evidence that are felons wherever 10. Yes. I think did although some people are still Disturbed that media coverage of the Watergate. I think that every surveying pole that has been taken shows exactly the opposite that there's been a swing of the pendulum back so that the credibility of the press is probably higher than at any time since the administration in particular Vice President Agnew began attacking the Press. Again, I'm not sure how Justified the swing of the pendulum back is. Yes. Question had to do with the discrepancy in testimony on McCord and Caulfield. And whether it's part of the Nixon offense is the questionnaire just grounded. We don't have any evidence that it is, but at the same time again you getting into speculative areas, and I don't I don't see any percentage whatsoever. Am I sitting here in And saying well that might be or that might be I mean, I really don't think that's my job. I think that's we can provide the information to the people can make their own judgments. Sure. They're Mike's out in the middle of the aisle. So if you want to use them go ahead back there. Yeah. Question was do we have the full support of the executives of the Washington Post and what we publish or did their support waiver and it never wavered. really magnificent performance, I think going on the part of the management of a newspaper. Yes. Question was much of our information was based on FBI leaks. I dispute that the begin with I wish somebody would start leaking something. Because you don't get leaks. I mean every once in a while somebody will come to you but people don't come with anything on a platter and say here it is. If you are able to find something out, you can go places and confirm it. You might be able to talk like pulling teeth. You might be able to get a little piece here in a little piece there by knowing the right questions to ask the right people to go to and how to Try and get something out of it, but nobody leaks very rare. Yes. In the case of somebody giving an anonymous tip on the phone. We would never regard that as a As just one source without knowing who they were. We got a tip. We have to confirm that I think in two other places before we go with it. The idea is that we would always go to two people at least who were in a position to know that something was true and very often people of different objectives in the case. Yes. I repeat the question. That's okay. first part of the question had to do with the Did we tell our editors who are sources were We told him. in general terms who some of our sources were The other part of the question was what was the role of Television? I think the role of Television was minimal. until recently with one exception Did CBS? in the latter part of October did too long segments of the evening Cronkite show. Based largely on what you posted done. and it gave a kind of exposure that we were never able. To have ourselves even with having three hundred clients on our wire service and many of them did not want our stories despite the fact that they had them. So television, I think it's a very difficult story for television terms so intricate and it didn't make too much sense at that time. I don't think it was television. Any means, yes. she noted the question and noted that we it said previously. We knew within a couple of weeks of the bugging and it went much deeper. How do you know that? 1 minuten hunt was involved. To renew that lady was involved. 3 we had some idea of the financing for we needed a lot of denials weren't terribly plausible. What we did I think is we made with with the FBI would cost an investigative assumption. Which is not a preconceived notion, but rather you take a look at what you've gotten it leads you in a certain direction. and I need a grand jury might have been a little bit better off if they would have done the same thing a little more. The first time around because there were certain especially if you combined it with some political knowledge and you had some understanding and how to committee to re-elect work and how the White House work and how people were related to other people that you could make some assumptions and pretty much our investigative assumptions turned out to be right when the facts didn't justify them. We simply abandon those assumptions. Yes. Question had to do with a $25,000 contribution by the committee to reelect. To representative Mills who committed suicide last week and wasn't that unusual for the committee to make a contribution like that and whatever the term is. Again, I don't want to go into anything speculative about where that might lead. As far as we know the the only sing Congressman Mills did what's Diwali? a local Maryland election law but I don't think anybody's had a chance to really investigate that very fully. And ask her contribution or alone. We don't know how unusual it was yet. We know that there was an awful lot of. White House aide in one form or another to midterm campaigns 71 was it was a special election, so I don't know whether that's extraordinary or not. Yes. Question is a Haldeman and ehrlichman have communication with white house until May 18th. They were not out of the White House, even though they had resigned on 30th. And we're still conferring with a president until that point. They also had responsibilities for transition the White House set. I think generally the only President mr. Haldeman and Mr. Ehrlichman know with the three of them talk about. The last word we done for the White House cuz we had to stop shouting and Ron Siegel. Yes, I want to take three more questions if it's okay. Yeah, you are a talking about the CIA. I think that depress to some extent has done a rather decent job with a CIA for years. It's a very difficult organization to penetrate is everybody knows. But I think what we do know about the CIA is largely from the Press. Indeed what most radicals think about the CIA is based on what they know from. The Press David Wise is just done a great book on secrecy and government. He's written a previous book on the CIA Psy Hurst. The New York Times has written extensively about the CIA Larry stern of the Washington Post Pentagon Papers told you an awful lot about the CIA. I think that. Did that's an area where the Press has done rather decently and I think there's no unwillingness on the part of the pressed to find out about the CIA. Yes. Away from the Republicans or the Democrats. We interrupt your second, I think. I think absent of the rhetoric you're saying a number of the same things. I did you talk about. Do you have a question? Channel Thank you. I mean my point is didn't I'm not here to to be a polemicist. I'm a reporter and and I'm most effective when I'm a reporter not a polemicist. Yes. Put let me try on. encapsulate with the question was cuz it's a very good question that has to do with the idea that did Watergate I think is perceived by a lot of people as Politics as Usual and that it's more of that all politicians are somehow dirty that it's just some more skulduggery or some such thing and the people according to the polls show inflation then some other matters are more concerned personal concern to I think there's no reason to disagree with the poles people probably do fine other issues of more personal concern to I think you're seeing now a real horse in the country. Reflected those in the president's own drive from popularity and people are saying about Watergate about what happened. So I think I think there is something to be said in the fact that these are not politicians John Mitchell never ran for an office in his life Maurice Stans never ran for an office in his life. Okay, that's that's the other difference about Watergate. Right? He was talking about politicians accepting money. And that's exactly at least thus far with Watergate is not about that's the other thing that makes it so different it Watergate was not about the personal aggrandizement of people in power. Those contributions had to do with keeping those people in power. Had nothing to do with friends since like Teapot Dome where money went to enrich members of the cabinet. And it ended the Scandal is unique in that respect Dust Bar at least there's no evidence. Factors dust far the Scandal is totally unrelated. To the concept of people in power getting rich off something. An awful lot that has to do with shaking down contributors and doing favors for them. But again, the money was used to re-elect Richard Nixon. Didn't go into anybody's pocket as far as we're able to determine traditional political stance scandals dealing with money have to do with people running to the bank. This one doesn't that's the other reason it's so different one more question. Questions. What do I see is a positive result of the Watergate. I think the New Yorker. Right after the president's April. 15th announcement had a brilliant analytical piece in the top of the town. And I think they understood what the president's announcement men. long before the rest of us finally understood and that is Did the Constitution? Had to some extent been suspended declared inoperative to use a favorite word. to an extent Did it probably never has been in the history of this country in the last four years? It has to do not just with Watergate, but it has to do with impoundment of funds and it has to do with the president's war-making Authority or lack thereof and has to do with an abusive power has to do with an arrogance of power and certainly didn't start with Richard next. These particular things I'm talking about. And I think that in the present is gone up on April 15th. And indicated for the first time the gravity of the situation. Sorta said well. The papers were seem to have been right all along. It all bets were off about where we were going in terms of the Constitution. Congress is going to attempt to reassert itself. certainly Press to some extent. Has been able to perform its function. That are Electro. politics might still be reformed to some extent before. The system would become corrupted to the extent that I could never recover. It really the prerogative switch this Administration claim for itself. no longer we're operative. And I think that we still have to be very watchful. But I think we're dealing with a different situation and that maybe the people are back in control of things a little bit more than they were four weeks ago. Thank you.


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