Following the Money

Scene from All the President’s Men.

In the early 1970s, things were different. Computers were just getting started, and what was fashionable seems unusual to us now. The 1970s also witnessed an important event that helped change journalism for the better. The Watergate Scandal was an event that disrupted many lives, but it also helped journalism in the long run. With all the surrounding “fake news” in today’s news, it is hard to tell fact from fiction. We can learn many lessons from Watergate.

Former FBI and CIA agents had broken into offices of the Democratic National Committee. That was something Richard Nixon was involved in and helped to cover up. Nixon resigned during his second term as president. He preferred not to be impeached and charged with the crimes. One lesson to take from this is not to trust everything the government says or does. You never know what it could be hiding.

The risks that Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, the two reporters from the Washington Post who uncovered the Watergate Scandal, took have some wondering how these men were not killed. “Mitchell started the cover-up early; everyone is involved in the cover- up, all the way to the top. The whole U.S. intelligence community is mixed in with the covert activities,” Robert Redford, who played Woodward, said in the film. “The extent of it is incredible. And people’s lives are in danger, maybe including ours.”

Bernstein and Woodward would not have been able to do this feat alone. Woodward received information from a secret informant who went by the name of Deep Throat. He told Woodward to “Follow the money,” which led them to uncover more than just a robbery attempt.

It might have been hard to believe the Watergate Scandal when it came to light. “Not that there’s a lot riding on this. Only the First Amendment and Freedom of the Press and maybe the future of our democracy,” Ben Bradlee, executive editor of the Post, said in the movie “All the President’s Men.” If it were not for the work of Bernstein and Woodward, the Nixon administration might have been able to get away with the crimes.

“All the President’s Men” is a must watch for not only journalists, but for everyone because it shows an important part of U.S history. It gives a behind-the-scenes look at writing for the Washington Post. With the suspense of their search for the evidence they need, Bernstein and Woodward, with the help of Deep Throat, “follow the money.” They uncovered one of the biggest scandals in U.S history.