The First Amendment – A Presidential Tale

     America was built on democracy. But what happens when the heart of democracy is put at risk? Two reporters risked their lives, their careers and their credibility to protect the sanctity of America and the heart of journalism–the First Amendment. On a journey that started with an unwanted burglary reporting assignment, these two men work their way through the political ranks to prove the internal Republican involvement in the break-in attempt to bug the Democratic National Committee headquarters. Little did they know that the investigation would lead all the way up to the White House and would lead to President Nixon’s resignation. 

     The film “All the President’s Men” follows Robert “Bob” Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s investigation after a break-in at the DNC at the Watergate office building. Throughout their journey of political discovery, Woodward and Bernstein run into one consistent obstacle: fear of retaliation from the most powerful man in America, President Nixon. While they interviewed many persons of interest, cooperation was consistently minimal. President Nixon’s administration attempted to block the Washington Post as well as the New York Times from publishing articles related to the incident at Watergate.  The First Amendment rights, however, were upheld as the court dictated that the generalization of “national security” was not specific enough to justify overhauling the First Amendment’s clause regarding freedom of the press. While Woodward and Bernstein’s discoveries throughout the course of their investigation were of deep concern to our political system, they allowed for much a much-needed transformation of the United States presidential campaign policies. Moving forward, elections have had increased transparency and regulation of funds dedicated to political elections. This scandal also paved the way for rebranding career paths in journalism as a catalyst for conversation around political justice.