The Moment Of Duplicity In The Watergate Scandal

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Tola Ibikunle The moment of duplicity in the Watergate scandal did not occur when G. Gordon Liddy, the general counsel on the Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CREEP), conspired with other members of CREEP to engage in illegal activities against the Democratic Party. Nor did it occur, when five burglars reattempted to wiretap phones in DNC headquarters on June 19, 1972 after a botched first attempt. No, the moment of duplicity occurred much later. The Watergate scandal is an important topic of discussion because it changed the political landscape and the way Americans viewed both the presidency and the government in ways that are still seen today. By analyzing the exact moment of duplicity in the Watergate scandal, the effects…show more content…
In 1966, 65 percent of Americans trusted the government in Washington that number fell to 61 percent in 1968, and 53 percent in 1970 (Schneider). Even while more information was becoming available about the corruption of the Nixon administration, many people believed that newspapers like the Washington Post and television networks were exaggerating the level of corruption within the Nixon administration (Finney). For example, at the time of Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Nixon’s chief domestic adviser, and the attorney general’s, Richard Kleindienst, resignation House Minority Leader Gerald Ford, and later President Ford, said that “I have the greatest confidence in the President and I am absolutely positive he had nothing to do with this mess,” (Stern and Johnson). By this time of Ford’s statement, the FBI had already established that the break-in was conducted by Nixon’s reelection campaign, acting FBI director L. Patrick Gray had been giving John Dean daily updates on Watergate and had destroyed incriminating files ( staff). Ford’s statement showed that the American people believed in their president and gave him the benefit of the doubt even when there was unsurmountable evidence brought against Nixon. Furthermore, by placing so much faith in Nixon, many Americans and the White House denounced the Washington Post’s coverage of Watergate as biased and misleading. Americans felt that the Post was trying to depict their “truthful” president in a negative light; however, the Post writers Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein were engaging in Plato’s dialectic approach to uncover the concrete truth of the Watergate scandal. On the other hand, most other Americans were concerned with the rhetorical truth. Based on the actions of past presidents, it was more plausible that when the president, the person they elected into a second term told the American people

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