Advertisement

Nixon, Watergate, and the Attempt to Sway Public Opinion

  • Todd Belt
Chapter
  • 260 Downloads
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency Series book series (EAP)

Abstract

Richard Nixon never had a particularly good relationship with the press during his long political career. Upon parting the electoral scene after his 1962 California gubernatorial defeat by Pat Brown, he famously admonished the press that they would not “have Nixon to kick around anymore.” But his subsequent comment about the coverage he received during the campaign is very telling: “[the press] have a right and a responsibility, and if they’re against a candidate, give him the shaft, but also recognize if they give him the shaft, put one lonely reporter on the campaign who will report what the candidate says now and then.”1 These comments were supposed to be his last press conference in a career marked by a particularly con- flictual relationship with the press. But Nixon resumed his battles with the press as he reentered the political fray to campaign for the presidency in 1968. His five and a half years in office were marked by a continuance of the combative relationship, culminating in his all out war with the press over the Watergate affair.

Keywords

Public Opinion Press Conference Union Address Midterm Election Nixon Administration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Garry Wills, Nixon Agonistes: The Crisis of the Self-Made Man (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1970).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Walter Pincus, “More Insights from Nixon the Political Scientist,” Washington Post, January 26, 2010, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/25/AR2010012503632.html.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lewis W. Liebovich, Richard Nixon, Watergate, and the Press: A Historical Retrospective (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2003); Pincus, “More Insights from Nixon the Political Scientist.”Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Richard Nixon, RN: The Memoirs of Richard Nixon (New York: Grosset Sc Dunlap, 1978).Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    James David Barber, The Presidential Character: Predicting Performance in the White House, 4th ed. (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1992).Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Martha Joynt Kumar, Managing the President’s Message: The White House Communications Operation (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007).Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    John Zaller, The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1992).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 10.
    Stephen Ansolabehere and Shanto Iyengar, Going Negative: How Political Advertisements Shrink & Polarize the Electorate (New York: Free Press, 1995).Google Scholar
  9. 11.
    RAND, Watergate and Television: An Economic Analysis. (Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, 1975).Google Scholar
  10. 12.
    Michael J. Robinson, “The Impact of the Televised Watergate Hearings” Journal of Communication 24:2 (1974): 17–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 12.
    Analysis of the audiences for the live versus tape-delayed audiences indicate that the tape-delayed audience was more politically active, James E. Fletcher, “Commercial versus Public Television Audiences: Public Activities and the Watergate Hearings.” Communication Quarterly 25:4 (1977): 13–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 13.
    Ronald Garay, “Watergate.” The Museum of Broadcast Communications (2010) www.museum.tv/eotvsection.php?entrycode=watergate.Google Scholar
  13. 16.
    Gladys Engel Lang and Kurt Lang, The Battle for Public Opinion: The President, the Press, and the Polls During Watergate (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983).Google Scholar
  14. 17.
    Gladys Engel Lang and Kurt Lang, “Polling on Watergate: The Battle for Public Opinion,” The Public Opinion Quarterly 44:4 (1980): 530–547.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 23.
    Woody Klein, All the Presidentsˆ Spokesmen: Spinning the News—White House Press Secretaries From Franklin D. Roosevelt to George W. Bush (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2008).Google Scholar
  16. 24.
    Patricia Sullivan, “Obituary: Herbert G. Klein, 91, White House Director Of Communications During Watergate,” The New York Times, July 4, 2009, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/02/AR2009070203390.html.Google Scholar
  17. 27.
    Roderick Hart, Verbal Style and the Presidency: A Computer-based Analysis (Orlando, FL: Academic Press Inc., 1984)Google Scholar
  18. 34.
    John M. Orman, Presidential Secrecy and Deception: Beyond the Power to Persuade (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1980).Google Scholar
  19. 35.
    Stanly I. Kutler, The Wars of Watergate: The Last Crisis of Richard Nixon (New York: Knopf, 1990).Google Scholar
  20. 36.
    I. Anthony Lukas, Nightmare: The Underside of the Nixon Years (New York: Penguin, 1988).Google Scholar
  21. 38.
    Richard Reeves, President Nixon: Alone in the White House (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001).Google Scholar
  22. 40.
    Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, All the President’s Men (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1974).Google Scholar
  23. 48.
    Fred Emery, Watergate: The Corruption of American Politics and the Fall of Richard Nixon (New York: Touchstone, 1994).Google Scholar
  24. 54.
    Tian-jia Dong, Understanding Power through Watergate: The Washington Collective Power Dynamics (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2005).Google Scholar
  25. 63.
    Richard M. Nixon, News Conference, October 26, 1973, Transcripts from The Presidency Project, www.presidency.ucsb.edu.Google Scholar
  26. 66.
    Barry Sussman, The Great Cover-up: Nixon and the Scandal of Watergate (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1974).Google Scholar
  27. 79.
    Samuel Kernell, Going Public: New Strategies Of Presidential Leadership, 4th ed, (Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2006).Google Scholar
  28. 81.
    Richard M. Nixon, “State of the Union Address, “. January 30, 1974, APP.Google Scholar
  29. 84.
    Richard E. Neustadt, Presidential Power and the Modern Presidents: The Politics of Leadership from Roosevelt to Reagan (New York: Free Press, 1990), 212.Google Scholar
  30. 85.
    David Frost, Frost/Nixon: Behind the Scenes of the Nixon Interviews (New York: HarperCollins, 2007).Google Scholar
  31. 87.
    Michael Schudson, Watergate in American Memory: How We Remember, Forget, and Reconstruct the Fast (New York: Basic Books, 1992).Google Scholar
  32. 92.
    William W. Lammers, and Michael A. Genovese, The Presidency and Domestic Policy (Washington DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 2000).Google Scholar
  33. 95.
    Gary King and Lyn Ragsdale, The Elusive Executive: Discovering Statistical Patterns in the Presidency (Washington DC: Congressional Quarterly Press, 1988).Google Scholar
  34. 98.
    Barbara A. Bardes and Robert W. Oldendick, Public Opinion: Measuring the American Mind 2nd ed, (Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth, 2003).Google Scholar
  35. 99.
    See Bob Woodward, Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate (New York: Touchstone, 2000).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael A. Genovese and Iwan W. Morgan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Todd Belt

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations