Revealing an Ugly Truth

When is it OK to stop pursuing a story?  When the president calls you out, the CIA or how about the entire Republican party teaming up to discredit your reporting?  For Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, they couldn’t stop.  What they were on to was too important for the nation and for “the future of our democracy.”

When skepticism was at an all-time high, no questions were answered and government officials were carefully crafting responses, it was essential that Bernstein and Woodward kept pushing.  It was essential to stop members of the government from becoming a bunch of tyrannical jerks.  They were breaking rules and keeping it secret from the American people.  This isn’t cool: there should be no secrets kept by a government from its people.

The rules Nixon’s team were breaking, and the manner in which they were being broken, dangerously gathered the nation’s attention.  The Republicans were using government resources to illegally gain information about their opposition.  These resources were much more than little campaign interruptions that had been done previously.  Instead, they broke in secretly and stole documents: secrets as well as personal information that could be used against Nixon’s opponents.  The FBI, the CIA, Nixon’s personal aid and others all were participating in Watergate in some capacity.

The persistence, determination and curiosity that the Washington Post reporters showed in pursuing Watergate is what revealed the case to the public.  If it weren’t for these reporters, the incidents would have been swept under the rug and eventually forgotten.  It was Bernstein and Woodward who knew how big this really was.  Ben Bradlee’s support was also instrumental in the story’s publication.  He stood by his journalists when the heat of the entire nation was on.  By having the support of their editor, the reporters could work more confidently, pursuing leads.  Eventually, they broke the case that led to Nixon’s resignation.  This finally pulled back the curtain to reveal the president’s ugly tru