All The Presidents Men Essay, Research Paper
All The President s Men
By: Jackie Mikolajczyk
What is Watergate? Watergate is the biggest political scandal in The United
States history. It included various activities to help President Richard Nixon win re-
election in 1972. Watergate also resulted in Nixon s resignation from presidency in
1974. June 17, 1972 a security guard notified the police that a door lock was taped at the
Washington s Watergate. Three officers responded to the call and found five burglars in
suits with rubber gloves on, hundred dollar bills in sequence in their pockets and with
electronically devices, in Larry O Briens office. In this paper I will determine if
Woodward and Bernstein stayed within acceptable limits. Three specific areas in which
acceptable limits should be looked at are the 25,000-dollar check to Kenneth H.
Dahlberg, the attempts to get Donald Segretti to go on the record and the naming of
Haldeman to the grand jury by Hugh Sloan. I do not think in most of the cases
Woodward and Bernstein were within acceptable limits.
A 25,000-dollar check was deposited in a bank account of Bernard L. Barker.
Barker was one of the five burglars. A Florida bank made out the check to Kenneth H.
Dahlberg. Dahlberg said he turned the check over to Maurice Stans. Dahlberg said he
has no idea how the check got into Barkers bank account. When the Washington Post
examined a photocopy of the check, they found out the First Bank and Trust Co. of Boca
Raton in Florida made out the check to Dahlberg (Internet, Lukas). According to court
testimony by government prosecutors, Barker s bank account in which the 25,000 dollar
check was deposited was the same account from which Barker later withdrew a large
number of hundred dollar bills. About 53 of these 100-dollar bills were found on the
five men after they were arrested at the Watergate (Internet, Lukas). I think that in this
situation the Washington Post did their job with acceptable limits. I think that if the
information they got was available with out any trouble it was okay but to write a
published story violated privacy. I don t think anyone should be able to look through
someone s accounts or any privacy matter without permission of the person or permission
to print. It is your right to have privacy. The first amendment gives you this right.
Woodward and Breinstein tried to get Segretti to go on the record. In this
situation, I think they pushed to the limits. You have the right to say no to a reporter.
Segretti didn t want to go on the record but they kept pushing him. They violated his
privacy. They got his travel records and credit card records. I don t think this is
acceptable to go through someone s personal records. It s also a persons right to their
own privacy. There are rules to publishing in this area though. If a person goes on the
record you can use their name or thoughts. If a person goes on background you can use
their thoughts and not their name. If someone goes on deep background you can not use
their name or thoughts. In this situation Woodward and Bernstein are within acceptable
Finally, Haldeman was the fifth member; to control the funds. Woodward and
Bernstein couldn t get any sources. All they asked was with the report they were going
to print that Sloan just agrees or disagree with what they were going to print. He did with
out words and they printed the story. It all blew out in their faces. When the story
reached the public, Washington Post got a call. Sloan agreed with the Post but nothing
was investigated. The Post assumed Sloan appeared in court and testified with names
and was asked questions. Sloan was not, because no one was to investigate beyond
Howard Hunt, Gordon Liddy and the burglars. This was because if they did they would
be invading national security. Publication of truthful information concerning the private
life of a person that would be both highly offensive to a reasonable person and not of
legitimate public concern is a invasion of privacy. Liability is often determined by how
the information was obtained and it s newsworthiness. (Internet, Lukas) Revealing
private, sensational facts about a person s sexual activity, health or economic status can
constitute an invasion of privacy. I think that Woodward and Bernstein were not within
In the above paragraphs I have stated Woodward and Bernstein have been within
acceptable limits in some cases and beyond limits of acceptance. Watergate is the
most famous political scandals in America. With all the above information I ve made
my conclusions to each situation.
Hoof, Joan. Nixon Reconsidered. Basic Books; New York, 1991.
Pakula, Alan J, director. All The President s Men. Warner Communications and
Wildwood Enterprises, 1976.
J. Anthony Lukas, Watergate, World Book Online Americas Edition, http://www.worldbookonline.com/wbol/wbpage/na/ar/co/594770, November 6, 2000.