Follow the FreeStater Blog by Email

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Watergate Story... Kirby Delauter Style

It's late one evening in 1973 in the office of Ben Bradlee executive editor of The Washington Post, when the silence is broken by a ringing phone.

Bradlee: Hello, this Ben Bradlee

Caller: Please hold for the President of the United States

Richard Nixon: Mr. Bradlee, it's come to my attention that two of your reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Berstein, are preparing to publish articles in which you link my office, including myself, my Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman and former Attorney General John Mitchell to the break-in at the Watergate Complex. Is that correct?

Bradlee: Yes sir, that's correct. The evidence is pretty overwhelming.

Nixon: Oh it is?

Bradlee: Yes Mr. President, it is.

Nixon: Well it just so happens that Haldeman and Mitchell are here in the office with me and we've decided that we're not going to authorize Woodward and Bernstein or the Washington Post to publish our names... right boys?

Haldeman and Mitchell: That's right! 

Bradlee: I'm sorry to hear that. But don't we have the right to a free press?

Nixon: Your rights end where mine start!

Moments later Bradlee pokes his head into the newsroom...

Bradlee: Woodstein!!!!

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein: Yes Mr. Bradlee?

Bradlee: The Watergate story is finished...

Woodward: What happened? 

Berstein: Did we make a mistake?

Bradlee: Nope, but I just got off the phone with Nixon, Haldeman and Mitchell and they won't let us use their names.

Berstein: Gosh darn it!

Woodward: And it seemed like such an important story... but we certainly shouldn't be aloud to to just freely write about elected officials and their actions while in office.

Bradlee: Goodness no... what kind of society would allow such a thing!