Bradlee sounded a bit nostalgic for the days when the Post and the Times dueled and the institution of journalism lived off scoops and leaks. "They changed the kind reporting we do. They institutionalized what we do today. They made it the norm."
He cynically fanned racism, manipulated white voters and prepared the ground for the conservative assault on civil rights, affirmative action and social programs that, in the years after his plunge to disgrace, the GOP has honed to a fine art.
This conversation is much more revealing about Nixon that it is about Dean, who proved to be the last honest man in the White House. Dean's testimony before the Senate Watergate committee the following summer was the key to the downfall of Richard Nixon and his presidency.
My admiration then for RN is due to his grit, his durability, his physical and political discipline, his resilience and his indestructibility. "You are only defeated when you quit," he would say. Richard Nixon never quit.
How much of a difference did Woodward and Bernstein really make in the Watergate scandal? It's true they didn't do it alone, but to say that journalists had nearly nothing to do with toppling Nixon is wrong.
Forty years ago I had the good fortune of renting an apartment in the beautiful Watergate complex. I had been covering the White House and Washington since l968, but how nice of Nixon to advance my business.