The Narrative turns 38. But as to the facts, just shut up!

Today is the 38th anniversary of the famed Watergate break-in. The topic is of longstanding interest to me, and I continue to marvel over the fact that after all these years, the reasons for the burglary are still unsettled.

Historians and Nixon scholars continue to wonder, while pondering various theories.

The one thing that stands out is that principle accuser John Dean -- the man whose testimony brought down Nixon and sent people to prison -- was the architect of the burglary and the coverup. His story changed many times, and it appears to a number of people who have studied Watergate in detail that he ordered the burglary for personal reasons, and then later implicated others who had no idea what was going on. In exchange, he was allowed to walk, while those he implicated went to prison.

There have been a number of books which have attempted to flesh out the details in an attempt to clarify history. John Dean has sued some of them, and threatened to sue others -- most recently James Rosen of Fox News, whose biography of John Mitchell concluded (after years of research) that the conventional version of the burglary (especially Dean's version that Mitchell ordered it) was wrong, and that Dean himself had ordered the burglary for personal reasons.

As I observed last year,

Little wonder he's threatening to sue.
For those who are interested, here's an interview with Rosen:

NRO's Kathryn Lopez has an interview with Rosen here.

In what I think is a very significant new development, Geoff Shepard (author, "The Secret Plot to Make Ted Kennedy President") recently delivered a comprehensive 90 minute presentation which is a review of the prominent Watergate conspiracy books and more. Shepard came to similar conclusions about John Dean and if you are at all interested in Watergate, this video is an absolute MUST WATCH! It's called "The Mysteries of Watergate":

May 24, 2010: Former Nixon Domestic Council official, Watergate defense lawyer, and author Geoff Shepard presented the fourth Richard Nixon Legacy Forum. Shepard spoke about the conventional wisdom of Watergate, five alternative perspectives on how the controversy unfolded, and the role of former White Counsel John Dean as the orchestrator of the cover-up.
From the caption:
May 24, 2010: Even forty years later, Watergate remains America's greatest political scandal. What is so interesting, at least to those who are interested in learning more about it, is that there is almost no agreement on the motivation for the original Break-in itself--or on whether the true culprits were those who actually executed the Break-in and the Cover-up or those they later alleged authorized and approved their illegal acts. Dozens of books have been written by principal Watergate players; hundreds of books and articles have been written by various commentators. Geoff Shepard's 90 minute presentation reviews the prominent Watergate conspiracy books and then explores a series of continuing uncertainties and concerns with what most Americans have been taught as 'conventional wisdom' about Watergate. It the course of it, he reveals some startling information about John Dean, one of the most prominent Watergate actors--and shows why we can expect Watergate controversies to continue well into the future.
And here it is. If you can spare the time (and I know it's long), it's worth it.

For more, see my previous posts, and be sure to watch the Key To Watergate video:

It's interesting even if you're not a political junkie.

Recommended reading includes Jim Hougan's groundbreaking Secret Agenda, Len Colodny's Silent Coup, James Rosen's Strong Man, and Geoff Shepard's The Secret Plot to Make Ted Kennedy President.

As to why the history of such an important event still remains unsolved after all these years, why, it's the Narrative Principle at work. The Narrative is that Nixon was bad and evil, and had to be brought down by in a grand political pageant orchestrated by the sainted MSM, by that heroic whistle-blower named John Dean!

As to the details, they don't matter.

Shut up and think as you're told.

posted by Eric on 06.17.10 at 12:24 PM


It's interesting how history has had its edges tidied up; do a google search on Mo Biner or Maureen Dean and tell me what you find.

Of course, using the Barney Frank template of not knowing that your roomie is running a prostitution ring out of your home is a reasonable defense against an implication that the roommate might have had an inkling of how that roomie was raising cash to pay
the rent. In the world of teh Democratics, such concerns as prostitution rings are beneath concern. Just visit the case of Elliot Spitzer.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

OregonGuy   ·  June 17, 2010 2:19 PM

Watergate is the Mega Narrative -- the grandaddy of them all. It represents the ultimate triumph of Big Media in combination with their newly emerged allies. They have been in charge since, and they don't take kindly to people learning that their coup was built on a fraudulent foundation.

So it's a tough nut to crack.

Eric Scheie   ·  June 17, 2010 4:54 PM

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