Katharine Weymouth, publisher of the Washington Post, has written an apology to readers over the paper's behavior in offering to sell access to its reporters and government insiders at a dinner to be held at her residence. Weymouth is the granddaughter of legendary Post publisher Katharine Graham, who famously backed Woodward & Bernstein in the Watergate exposé.
If only Richard Nixon had known the proper Post-approved etiquette for handling such matters, the nation might have been spared considerable trauma.
Here is the letter President Nixon should have written:
"A Letter to Americans"
I want to apologize for a venture that went off track and for any cause we may have given you to doubt our independence and integrity. The actions by a group of my overzealous team hoping to help my reelection chances suggest we may have been spying on our opposition. The effort by my Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP) was not authorized by me and did not accurately reflect what I had in mind to get reelected.
I now believe our mistake was to try and operate within the previous rules established by my predecessor President Johnson. However, as President it is my job to ensure that we adhere to standards that are consistent with our integrity as a political party. My Administration remains committed, now and as always to the highest standards of political integrity. Nothing is more important to me than that, and nothing will shake that commitment.
So what happened? Like other political parties and organizations CREEP tries to have live events that focus on important topics. The most recent event may now have apparently made news but they are also important and inform me. I had planned to only include my information gathering on small groups even some at the state level, a practice that had become common with all political parties.
From the outset, we laid down firm parameters to ensure that these events would be consistent with my values-don't get caught. Unfortunately, we overstepped that line and really "screwed" (exploitative deleted) up. For example had I known I would have never allowed horizontal taping of locks.
We all make mistakes and hope to be forgiven for them. I apologize to Americans for the mistakes I made in this case. I remain committed to the highest standards of integrity. And while I am committed to all new techniques to win elections, I will never compromise my integrity.
In the meantime, I hope my administration can continue to count on the Congress and the media especially the Washington Post to play by previously and long honored rules of covering politics.
I can bring you peace, prosperity and a safe and honorable end to the Vietnam War. I will not walk away from a fight like President Johnson.
Richard M Nixon
PS I am not a crook!!!
Ed Timperlake was appointed to the US Naval Academy by President Johnson and voted for Richard Nixon and that truly petty crook Agnew.