Watergate Affair Essay Research Paper The Watergate

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Watergate Affair Essay, Research Paper The Watergate Affair This analysis of the news media coverage will focus on the Watergate affair which originally began on June 17, 1972 with the break-in of the Democratic National Committee Headquarters at the prestigious Watergate office complex in Washington D.C.. I will primarily concentrate on the negative impact that media coverage had to the publics eye. This media coverage, although justified and appropriate for the situation, ultimately destroyed the credibility of Nixon’s administration and the ability to run an effective government which forced the first resignation of an American president. The history of the events at hand is as follows. The Nixon Administration financed a White House Special Investigative Unit called the

plumbers. This unit was initially established under John Erlichmann a top White House aide, to ?plug? leaks from the White House to the press and consisted of former FBI and CIA operatives. It comes to fact that these plumbers were involved in illegal break-ins and wiretapping before the Watergate scandal. On June 17, 1972, the night watchman at the Watergate complex discovered adhesive tape on the basement doors of the complex. Five men were arrested that night and began a series of inquiries and investigations into the possible corruption of White House Officials. (Encyclopedia of the American Presidency, Volume 13, page 1603) Among those arrested on the night of June 17, 1972 were James McCord Jr., security coordinator for the Committee for the Re-election of the President

(CRP also known as CREEP). (New York Times, June 21, 1972, page 1, column 3) Immediately after the arrests, the news media had already began initial accusations and offering possible motives to the public through statements like: ? There was continuing speculation here and in the Cuban community in Miami that unnamed men, in or out of an anti-Castro organization, had carried out a number of politically sensitive operations to win the Governments sympathy for 30,000 to 40,000 Cuban refugees living in Spain.? (4 Hunted in Inquiry on Democratic Raid, New York Times, June 21, 1972, page 44, column 1) On June 20, it came to the attention of President Richard Nixon that there were connections made between the burglars and CRP and various White House personnel. The president, on June

23, recommended that the CIA should prevent a FBI inquiry into the Watergate incident based on national security interests. To no avail, the FBI continued its investigation and eventually sifted through the maze of paper trails and cover up. Evidence began to surface, pointing to the administration itself. Realizing the internal nature of this situation, stories began to look like this: ? No one was making any accusations yet, but in the midst of a curious non-cooperation from the White House and the Committee for the Re-election of the President, the suspicion grew that someone not far from the center of Republican power in Washington had engineered the Watergate Caper.? (Watergate, Contd., TIME Magazine, August 14, 1972, page 21) As time went on, more and more evidence had

begun to surface. On September 15, 1972, the Justice Department obtained the indictments of seven men said to be implicated: James W. McCord, Bernard L. Barker, Eugenio R. Martinez, Frank A. Sturgis, and Virgilio R. Gonzalez, the five men originally arrested at the Watergate complex. Also involved, and indicted were G. Gordon Liddy, chief of the security unit called the ?plumbers? and former White House consultant, E. Howard Hunt. These men were all charged with conspiring to break in and plant listening devices into the phone lines at the Democratic National Headquarters. One man, although implicated, was not charged. His name was Alfred Baldwin, an FBI agent who was a bodyguard for John Mitchell, the campaign manager, and his wife. Mr. Baldwin had admitted to being assigned by