The wiretapping scandal erupted in Washington half a century ago.
Fifty years ago, when a Washington court convicted Gordon Liddy and James McCord Jr., aides to President Nixon, the media tsunami that went down in history began with the “Watergate scandal.”
The two men — one an FBI agent and the other a CIA agent — who illegally obtained information about a Democratic candidate’s campaign at the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters in Washington’s Watergate Hotel were convicted of conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping.
After the scandal, American politics and the media were no longer what they used to be, claims John Dean, a legal advisor to the Nixon administration at the time and one of the Crown’s witnesses in the trial.
“In context, what happened dramatically and forever changed the media image of the president of the United States. Before the Watergate scandal, presidents were above suspicion. After the Watergate scandal, presidents were not given the presumption of a ‘clean record,’ but rather their innocence.”
The Washington Post wrote the story of the illegal wiretapping of Democratic presidential candidate John McGovern. American and international public opinion has been astonished that even the world’s largest democracy is not immune to illegal electoral behavior.
Especially after Liddy and McCord Jr. were indicted, details of the Watergate scandal were widely reported in the press. Today, the role of the media is different, says former investigative journalist Nick Davis.
“Words can be used as weapons to bring about change. But that’s changed. Words no longer have the power they once did. I think that’s partly because there are too many of them. With the Internet, it’s like walking into a packed stadium, and you’ll talk Without a microphone.”
The Watergate scandal shook public opinion, and Richard Nixon eventually resigned and left office on August 8, 1974, two years after winning the election against McGovern.
“I will resign the presidency effective tomorrow at noon. Vice President Ford will be sworn in at that hour and in this office.” Nixon greeted.