Friday, June 15, 2007


In its reporting on Watergate, the Washington Post made Barry Sussman its special editor on the scandal. We asked him about the current scandal roiling Washington -- the firing of the "Gonzales Eight." Sussman says the press faces a similar problem now as it did then: how to keep the public interested.

Comments [3]

A. Carroll

Garfield's "analysis" of Gonzales-gate deals only with the surface appearances and is particularly shallow--not an analysis at all. Citizens' eyes wouldn't "glaze over" if the networks and mainstream press did their job to "get to the bottom of this." It IS of interest to Americans because the firings occurred in conjunction with an attempt to disenfranchise the poor and ethnic minorities. People CAN understand this. This Administration continues to act as if there are no election laws or Civil Rights Acts. In the meantime, Garfield faults "citizens" for not being interested while the press focuses only on the firing story rather than turning the attention of the public to the actual import of Gonzales-gate.

There are more similarities to Watergate than you indicate. Sussman mentioned the 1972 landslide re-election of Nixon, making a questionable causal connection between that and the apparent lack of interest by the public in the Watergate story. But stories about CREEP's "dirty tricks" (remember that phrase?) capers were in the papers every day; however, they were buried in small print in obscure locations in the papers. It seemed that those who mould public opinion (i.e, the press) were more intent on getting Nixon re-elected than in "connecting the dots" or drawing public attention to the blatant and incredible acts of election sabotage and disinformation that led up to November.

The issue of Nixon not paying his taxes is a red herring. It was public knowledge that Ronald Reagan didn't pay any taxes either, even before he became President, and in addition a big issue was made of his stinginess and his lack of charitable giving. But according to the press, everybody loved Reagan (in stark contract to anyone I knew), as the press got positively orgasmic about him.

Jun. 21 2007 01:05 AM

Well, it isn't like any of the stories involving this administration are balanced, and that's OK. I think anyone that has listened to this show for even a couple of weeks understands that it is heavily editorialized and skewed in its presentation. What bothers me more is that there was never a mention of the fact that Watergate represented crimes of numerous kinds, while in the current situation the President has the power to fire these prosecutors for NO REASON AT ALL if he wants. Now that may be politically unwise and people are certainly free to critisize it as much as they want. And he cannot put anyone in those positions without congressional approval. But like so many things that that people like Bob Garfield and the liberal Dems seem to salivate over, there is no underlying crime here. Instead, it is how the furor is handled that gets this administration into even hotter water, and sometimes criminal activity (e.g. Scooter Libby), although if there is no underlying crime these things are rarely prosecuted. But this is the sport of politics as it is these days, and it is no wonder people just roll their eyes at the press coverage.

Jun. 20 2007 12:29 PM
Darrell from Dallas, TX

Wow was this a totally balanced view of this topic or what...I get more balance from Fox News and I don't even like Fox News. Also, you seem to totally ignore the previous guess who said that she didn't think there would be another Watergate.

Dang you media people love the 70's. There was more Watergate like material from the NY Times in the last two years than has ever come out of a presidential administration in the last 25 years.
Take a page from some of the Fox news shows, which feature liberal hosts and balance out your show...if I only listened to OTM for my news coverage I would get only 50% of the truth/story.

Jun. 17 2007 05:14 PM

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