By Elizabeth Skrapits
April 22, 2012
DALLAS TWP. – How do you define Watergate to someone who literally wrote the book on one of the most notorious chapters in governmental history?
Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein and his Washington Post colleague and “All the President’s Men” co-author Bob Woodward rocked the nation in 1972 with their exposure of a scandal that led to the downfall of former President Richard Nixon.
Last week, a group of 27 specially-selected Misericordia University communications and history majors heard Bernstein talk about how politics, culture in the media have evolved in the 40 years since the botched burglary of a Washington hotel set a chain of events in motion which ended a presidency and shook peoples’ faith in government.
Bernstein started out by asking students to define Watergate.
“How do I define it to YOU?” an incredulous Gia Mazur of Dickson City asked one of the two men who had made the name a household word.
“President Nixon was doing something he shouldn’t have been doing,” Mazur said. The effect, she said, was that people lost faith in their government.
Bernstein said he’s often asked whether he could still do the kind of reporting on Watergate today he did then.
Yes – “although I think there are fewer institutions with both the resources and to stick to the story the way the Washington Post and New York Times did,” he said.