Modern American History

ModernAmerican History

ModernAmerican History

Theessay discusses information about the Watergate scandal that occurredduring the 1970s in the United States. The scandal was political innature. The scandal occurred after unauthorized access of theheadquarters of the Democratic National Committee. President RichardNixon was negatively affected by the scandal because key White Housestaff were investigated and prosecuted. Two articles are analyzed toshow different views of authors regarding the scandal. Most Americanshad negative views about the scandal because it showed highdishonesty levels among the political leaders. On August 9, 1974,President Nixon resigned because of the negative publicity generatedby the scandal (Hougan, 2014).

Step1: Summary of Arguments

“Watergate:The Unfinished Business” (1973) indicates the positive measurestaken by the United States President, Richard Nixon, in addressingthe Watergate scandal. He allowed John Erhlichman and Hademan H. toresign from their duties as White House aides. He chose ElliotRichardson as the Attorney General to investigate the scandal.President Nixon also dismissed John Dean from serving as the WhiteHouse counsel. The president, however, did not initiate investigationthat is viewed as independent from political factors. Theinvestigating party ought to have no previous connection orprofessional relationship with the Nixon Administration

Dean(1974) completely supports the steps taken by the NixonAdministration to address the Watergate crisis. He criticized theeditorial of TheChicago Tribunefor announcing that the president should resign because of the WhiteHouse transcripts. Dean (1974) explains that the informationretrieved from the transcripts indicates a president who is pursuingthe truth about the scandal. The president searches for the truth ashe delicately balances the interest of the Americans, the rule orlaw, and the social and professional reputation of the White Housestaff.

Theauthor gets two perspectives about resolving the Watergate crisis.The first perspective is that President Nixon should resign becausehis administration has condoned illegal activities that resulted inthe Watergate scandal. Additionally, he has not appointed anindependent party to investigate the scandal. Elliot Richardsonserved as the Defense Secretary in his administration. The AttorneyGeneral Richardson therefore, is not suitable for the investigativerole because of his previous political and professional associationwith President Nixon and the White House staff (“Watergate,”1973). The second perspective supports the measures adopted byPresident Nixon to address the crisis. The president respondedappropriately to the crisis by adopting practical steps for example,facilitating the resignation of key White House staff to enableproper and independent investigations (Dean, 1974).

Step2: Influence of Watergate Events on American Views

TheWatergate crisis changed the views of Americans on politics andpolitical leaders. The Americans saw the politicians as dishonestindividuals. The politicians named in the crisis, President Nixon andhis key staff, were questioned for attempting to hide informationabout the Watergate scandal. The Americans demanded that dishonestpolitical leader should be investigated by an Independent party withno previous connection to the Nixon Administration. The New York CityBar Association demanded that the investigation be conducted byspecial prosecutor who is independent (“Watergate,” 1973).

Theevents surrounding the Watergate scandal positively influenced themedia coverage of politics and the political environment. The mediademanded for independent investigation and accountability fromgovernment leaders who engage in illegal or inappropriate activities.TheChicago Tribunedemanded the resignation of President Nixon because of the WhiteHouse transcripts. The mass media also took independent positions onthe scandal. TheChicago Tribunerequested President Nixon to resign, despite showing long-timesupport for his political activities (Dean, 1974). The press alsogave a comprehensive analysis of how President Nixon was addressingthe issue. The president was acknowledged for appointing a newAttorney General, Elliot Richardson, and also approving theresignations of John Erhlichman and Hademan H. The president was,however, criticized for not ensuring the independence of theinvestigation by appointing a special prosecutor recommended by themembers of the United States Congress (“Watergate,” 1973).

Step3: Speculation of Watergate Coverage by the Social Media

TheWatergate scandal and investigation process might have been handledappropriately in the present society. This is because the smartphonesand the social media are effective in spreading information about thecurrent American and international political environment. The socialmedia coverage will be better because information about the Watergatescandal will be accessed by millions of Americans within minutes.Social media bloggers have the capacity to regularly updateinformation, especially about scandals in government.

TheWatergate scandal information would have lasted long because ofcontinuous updates and discussions by millions of users of popularsites like Facebook and Twitter. Information technology innovationsare helpful in improving the understanding of current events. This isbecause information about events is continuously updated to providenew perspectives, ideas, and solutions. Social media discussions arealso important because several responses are provided. Social mediausers have the privilege of analyzing different responses andexplanations, and then selecting the most appropriate information.


Burch,D. (1974, May 14). In defense of Richard Nixon. Retrieved from TheHarvard Crimson Web site:

Hougan,Jim. (2014). Watergate,Deep Throat and the CIA.New York: Random House, Inc.

Watergate:The Unfinished Business. [Editorial]. 1973, May 1. TheWashington Post,p. A18.