Watergate Political Scandal

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On June 17th, 1972, in the Watergate building, located in Washington D.C., five men were arrested for attempted burglary and attempting to bug phone lines. Over the next two years, one of the greatest acts of investigative journalism unfolded. With further investigation from the FBI and various reporters and detectives, including Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of the Washington Post, the burglars association with President Richard Nixon and his re election campaign was revealed. Recordings and other evidence were eventually made public which lead to Nixon’s resignation from office, prior to being impeached by Congress. Being such a major event in political history, the scandal allowed the structure of the American Government to shine through…show more content…
Checks and balances is “a system that allows each branch of a government to amend or veto acts of another branch so as to prevent any one branch from exerting too much power”(Merriam-Webster). One example of this was the Judicial Branch checking the Executive Branch. For his own personal records, Nixon requested that communications between himself and various Nixon administration officials be recorded. After other discoveries and suspicions surrounding who was involved with the illegal actions of Nixon’s re election campaign were made, it was absolutely necessary that the tapes from Nixon’s Oval Office be released. Nixon refused to release them on his own account so other measures had to be taken. The Supreme Court, of the Judicial Branch, held a trial and came to the consensus to order Nixon to release the tapes. Since Nixon was abusing his executive privilege as president, the Supreme Court was able to force Nixon to release the tapes (Watergate Scandal). As a whole, the government was able to keep one particular branch from controlling the outcome of the Watergate scandal. Democracy displayed it’s resilience at the time of the scandal. The Constitution gave a dependable blueprint for the American…show more content…
Most Americans would support the idea that Woodward and Bernstein had the largest influence in solving and reporting the mystery at Watergate. They were able to bring extensive pieces of evidence, essential for the understanding of what happened at Watergate, to light. They achieved this solely by the power of mouth, freedom of speech. Woodward and Bernstein relied heavily on anonymous sources and had to weigh the risks and benefits of printing information from individuals who did not want to be named (Newseum Digital Classroom). These reporters and the testifiers to their ideas had the right to say whatever they desired, whether it be true or not. “Woodward has said, ‘We named people in specific acts of participation in a criminal conspiracy essentially to destroy the free electoral system we have in this country to spy and sabotage on the Democrats.’” (Blake). Woodward uses his freedom to attempt to showcase the weaknesses of the government. The freedom of press was also a key component in highlighting the effectiveness of the American Government during the time of the Watergate scandal. Woodward and Bernstein demonstrated the immense power of investigative reporting. Being protected by the freedom of press, they were able to unearth government corruption and keep the public informed of political change. The American public would have never

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