Richard Nixon and the Watergate scandal. The scandal which led to an impeachment and the impeachment which led to a resignation. Beginning as a seemingly bungled attempt at breaking into the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate in Washington D.C. and a story slowly emerging of coverups, bribes, deceits and intrigues. The Watergate story bears an eerie resemblance to what we are currently undergoing now with the Trump White House – not exactly the same, but striking similarities in a complex network of names, players and circumstances, all topped off by a President flushed with perceived impunity. In the matter of Trumpgate, a false perception that being the President of a country is not all that much different that President of a company and that people working for you is considerably different than you working for people (i.e. the People of the U.S.).
Bear in mind, the Watergate saga took some 2 years to unfold, and during that time the net cast over the White House grew wider and wider – it wasn’t just Richard Nixon who was under scrutiny, it was many people. In the end, aside from Nixon’s resignation, there were some 40 associates, co-conspirators and operatives who served varying degrees of prison time. It was no longer a simple case of breaking-and-entering. It became covering up, fabricating, paying off, misleading and sand-bagging. It went from taking responsibility to blaming the media – the ones entrusted to informing the public – because the media were perceived as the enemy, out for blood and revenge.
So this documentary, produced at the beginning of 1975, well after the Watergate saga came to an end, traces the circuitous route the scandal and subsequent investigations took. The end result is what we all remember – the intricacies and innuendos grow foggy with time. But it’s important to be aware of it – for all intents and purposes, we may be heading down that familiar road again. But like Watergate, Trumpgate has no snap answers and no glowing clues – it was slow focus and careful investigation and a gradual unfolding of a story which seemed laughable at the time, but which grew painful over the following weeks and months.
Fasten your seat belts.
Here is that radio documentary, produced by Group W Broadcasting in January of 1975.