CNN Shows Zero Interest In Questioning Conventional Wisdom About WatergateRoundup
tags: CNN, Watergate, Nixon
Geoff Shepard joined Nixon’s White House staff as a fellow in 1969, upon graduation from Harvard Law School. He stayed for five years as a member of the Domestic Council and also served as deputy counsel during Nixon’s Watergate defense.
CNN completed its four-part series on President Nixon last Sunday evening with a panel discussion between John Dean, Richard Ben-Veniste, Carl Bernstein, and Tim Naftali, led by Anderson Cooper. Last month, one of their producers had reached out to me, seeking someone to participate who would represent Nixon’s point of view.
The producer and I discussed the 39 documentaries, co-sponsored by the National Archives, that I’d helped to produce since 2010 on President Nixon’s various public policy initiatives, as well as my extensive research, writing, books, and lectures on the inside story of the Watergate scandal, where I served as deputy counsel during the last 10 months of the Nixon administration.
The producer assured me that CNN was committed to presenting a balanced view, but she never even called back, and I think I know why: I would have presented a dramatically different and disruptive point of view from the other pre-packaged panelists.
For example, I would have asked Dean, a convicted felon who was sentenced to 1-4 years in prison and disbarred from practicing law for his key role in the Watergate cover-up, why he was freed immediately after the cover-up trial (where he’d been the prosecutor’s lead witness) and had never actually spent a single night in jail.
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