The fact of the Watergate cover-up is not nearly as interesting as the step into making the cover-up. And when you understand the step, you understand that Richard Nixon lied. That he was a criminal.
The central dilemma in journalism is that you don't know what you don't know.
I have found people don't want to be told. That they can figure it out.
We're not going to have another Watergate in our lifetime. I'm sure.
Watergate provides a model case study of the interaction and powers of each of the branches of government. It also is a morality play with a sad and dramatic ending.
There are people who take rumors and embellish them in a way that can be devastating. And this pollution has to be eradicated by people in our business as best we can.
I believe Watergate shows that the system did work. Particularly the Judiciary and the Congress, and ultimately an independent prosecutor working in the Executive Branch.
I don't think there will ever be a permanent truce, but I believe the media needs to be more careful and be willing to count to 10 before rushing on the air or into print.
I have gone on the air and announced my telephone number at the Washington Post. I go into the night, talking to people, looking for things. The great dreaded thing every reporter lives with is what you don't know. The source you didn't go to. The phone call you didn't return.
There is a garbage culture out there, where we pour garbage on people. Then the pollsters run around and take a poll and say, do you smell anything?
Watergate is an immensely complicated scandal with a cast of characters as varied as a Tolstoy novel.
After Nixon resigned in 1974, he engaged in a very aggressive war with history, attempting to wipe out the Watergate stain and memory. Happily, history won, largely because of Nixon's tapes.
Nixon's grand mistake was his failure to understand that Americans are forgiving, and if he had admitted error early and apologized to the country, he would have escaped.
A reporter's ability to keep the bond of confidentiality often enables him to learn the hidden or secret aspects of government.
The Washington Times wrote a story questioning the authenticity of some of the suggestions made about me in Silent Coup. But as a believer in the First Amendment, I believe they have more than a right to air their views.
It would seem that the Watergate story from beginning to end could be used as a primer on the American political system.
The source known as Deep Throat provided a kind of road map through the scandal. His one consistent message was that the Watergate burglary was just the tip of the iceberg.
Nixon had some large achievements in foreign affairs. They will be remembered. But a president probably gets remembered for one thing, and Watergate will head the Nixon list, I suspect.
The failure of the system to deal quickly was attributable to Nixon's lying, stonewalling and refusal to come clean. So it took 26 months for the final truth to be known.
Many people have their reputations as reporters and analysts because they are on television, batting around conventional wisdom. A lot of these people have never reported a story.
It was accountability that Nixon feared.
I think that everyone is kind of confused about the information they get from the media and rightly so. I'm confused about the information I get from the media.
Lawyers didn't seriously get involved in the Watergate stories until quite late, when we realized we were on to something.
I suspect there have been a number of conspiracies that never were described or leaked out. But I suspect none of the magnitude and sweep of Watergate.