Seeing Frost v Nixon at the theatre has prompted me today, to try and learn more about Watergate. I read various blogs then turned to Google and wilipeadia so apologies if the below not accurate. Also it may not be accurate because, it seems very complicated and this is just my understanding from what I have read.
From wilikapeadia, I found that Watergate was an office in Washington, it was the head quarters of the democratic National Committee. Nixon was a member of the republication party that were opposition to the democratic party. The office was broken into on 17June1972, by 5 men.
Once investigated, it was found that the burglers were in possession of money that had been given by individuals to fund Nixon’s re-election campaign. Therefore this suggests dishonesty within republican office, attacking their opposition the democratic party. Of course it is possible for party members to have untaken this without Nixon’s knowledge. It inevitably caused scandal and people believed Nixon did know and tried to cover up his involvement.
In then Whitehouse there was a system that recorded conversations that occurred there. After a legal battle Nixon was forced to hand over transcripts of the tapes. However partly due to ill health I BELIEVE, Nixon received a pardon without a trail and therefore in a court of law was not found guilty. The scandal did cause him to resign. The subsequent interviews by Frost aimed to get Nixon to admit to wrong doing in relation to the Watergate burglaries.
Watergate was not the only scandal of Nixon’s presidency; there was also scandal as regards Pentagon papers relating to the Vietnam war. The revealing of the Pentagon Papers in 1971 was covered in the recent film the Post. According to an article from the guardian have read the pentagon papers ‘Proved successive administrations had lied about the war in Vietnam”. Nixon was president in 1971. Apparently the end of the post film references the Watergate burglary that occurred in 1974 and this can seen as a segue into the film all the president’s men.
The play I saw last night; Frost v Nixon covers the time from Nixon’s resignation through recording of 4 interviews by frost of Nixon.
SPOILER alerts the big question … did Frost get a confession from Nixon?
In the first 3 interviews Frost manages to draw out his answers to questions without giving much away. Between the third and fourth interview there was the long Easter weekends. One of Frost’s researchers goes back and goes through the publically available transcripts and finds that Nixon new about the Watergate burglary only 3 days after it happened when he said he did not know about it tuntil much later. In the play Frost uses this to get the president to admit he had done wrong.
Fascinating to have learned some history. Read interesting blog today about why we love reading / watching based on true life!