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February 1, 2009
Watergate revisionism and the NYT's blind eye
The New York Times publishes an article today about a fight brewing between scholars of Watergate. Apparently, the man responsible for developing the transcripts of the Watergate tapes transcribed them in such a way to paint a benign portrait of John Dean.
What I find surprising is that nowhere in the article is there a mention of The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate by James Rosen, a superb book on Nixon's Attorney General who became the fall guy for Watergate. Rosen worked for many years to uncover the true story of Watergate. He revealed throughout the book that a reexamination of the tapes showed that John Dean was at the heart of Watergate and worked to place the blame on Mitchell and others around Nixon. Why no mention of this book, well-received elsewhere but not even reviewed by the New York Times? Could it be that the Times just did not want to promote a book written by a Fox News journalist? News Corporation, which owns Fox News, and the New York Times are in battle for dominance in New York City (News Corporation owns the New York Post, which outcirculates the NYT in NYC), and nationally, as the Wall Street Journal moves to become America's dominant national general interest newspaper, investing heavily in expansion as the Times cuts back and desperately raises money from sources it once editorially scorned, in order to avoid the specter of insolvency.