In my spare time this summer, I decided to take an online business course. And as I struggled through the numbers and got yet another question wrong, I found myself staring at the weekly assignment, hoping for some respite from the numerical onslaught. Last week, the task was to simply upload a picture of a graph- great! i thought, that’s an easy thing to cross off my to-do list, and it’ll make me feel like i’ve accomplished something in this hour of slow torture!
Wrong. Instead, i was confronted with the mandate of finding a news article that showed statistical bias or error etc. So to Google I went, typing in something like ‘fact check scandal’ and down the rabbit hole I fell. Three hours later, I am proud to say that I am now well-versed in every major journalistic scandal that has taken place in the last twenty years, and have yet to find a news article that fits the requirements for my weekly assignment.
Along my way, I of course ran into the Nixon scandal, by way of the journalistic heavyweights Woodward and Bernstein, who were listed as paragons for the non-plagiarists of today to aspire to. With them came a fascinating description of a movie called All the President’s Men, which details the investigation and events of Watergate. While apparently quite well-known, I had never heard of the movie. Big surprise right?
There’s something very electric about watching this movie- it’s well-paced and well-written, to the point where you feel the urgency, the sudden disbelief as Woodward and Bernstein uncover another stepping stone, just as they are losing hope, about to give up, or have their editors breathing down their necks. I didn’t even realize that the first hour had already passed by. I also enjoy that Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford star- somehow I never realized that they were contemporaries and rose to fame around the same time.
And how interesting is it that Deep Throat really exists? That all of this happened seems impossible at times- the movie reads like a thrilling chase, a fairytale, a reporter’s pipe dream- yet it is all reality. It gets a little more surreal every time I think about it. I only wish the movie took us inside the courtroom for a while- i get it, its a movie about the investigative reporting, not the actual trial and impeachment, but as someone who is decades removed from the events, it would be nice to see a more solid resolution. The movie ends with the assumption that the public knows what happens next, with the deluge of reporting on Watergate that took place afterwards. Perhaps all of this is to say that the next movie I watch may be about the actual impeachment of Nixon. To Google I go-