Richard Nixon, 37th president of the United States is notorious in US history as being the only one to ever resign from office. The scandal surrounding Nixon catapulted leftists into power in the Democratic Party, emboldened them in culture, and made "Watergate" a world-famous term. From that point on, pundits have tacked "-gate" at the end of every political scandal, trying to relate the events to Nixon's decline.
Watergate was a sordid tale of a president working behind the scenes to destroy enemies and block their political power. President Nixon's office, probably Nixon himself, told men working for him to put bugs in the Democratic Party Headquarters in the Watergate Hotel, Washington DC. The men bungled the job and someone spotted them, then the story began to leak out. As time went on, the Nixon administration ordered men to lie to investigators and police, but the men caught planting bugs were being paid by money from the Committee to Re-Elect the President.
President Nixon had taped all conversations and dealings he had without knowledge of people involved and those tapes recorded more than he wanted people to know. The president, or someone at his command, edited the tapes of all conversations in the Oval Office that were seized by subpena by the justice department, leaving gaps covering much of the events. However, enough was discovered that 43 people were indicted, tried, convicted, and incarcerate, including men such as Attorney General John Mitchell, White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, and advisers Charles Colson, John Ehrlichman, John Dean, and investigator G. Gordon Liddy.
The bulk of these convictions were based around the cover-up, attempting to shield the president from the break in and bugging attempts. The break-in its self would have been very embarrassing for the president but was separated enough that he personally was unlikely to have been directly connected. Politically damaging, but not enough to depose President Nixon.
Facing impeachment and probable removal from office, President Nixon decided the country would be better off without the trial and the battle, and resigned from office, leaving Vice President Ford his successor. President Ford soon pardoned President Nixon, stating it was better for the country to not go through any more legal proceedings against a president.
And behind it all, we're told it was the work of crusading journalists, primarily from the Washington Post, who took down President Nixon through meticulous reporting, defying the power base in government. they faced official pressure, wiretaps on their phones, even death threats and feared for their lives, we ere told. Woodward and Bernstein became reporter heroes, with books and movies praising their intrepid investigative journalism. They won awards, and became classic examples in journalism school held up for students to emulate.
Woodward and Bernstein took down a president, that's the line. President Nixon was forced to tell the truth and retire because of heroic Washington Post reporters who defied the odds, the pressure, and the establishment to find the story at all costs. That's what we've been told, but is it true?