EDITOR’S NOTE: The following appears in the July 26, 2004, issue of National Review, a special issue made possible by the Media Research Center.
The press hated Richard Nixon — but he gave them a lot to work with. Today, there is a Watergate-like press feeding frenzy, and it is against the entire presidency of George W. Bush. The present media environment may even be worse than Watergate — as former Nixon hands can attest.
Chuck Colson says, “I think the attack on Bush has been if anything more vicious. We started out with the press disliking Nixon and Nixon disliking the press. We inherited a very unpopular war. The attacks on Nixon were more understandable.” He adds, “It does seem to me now worse than it was then, because it’s so unprovoked.”
According to Ray Price, “the intensity of the media hostility to George W. Bush, as compared with that toward Richard Nixon, is all the more remarkable considering that Richard Nixon, when he took office, had long been the figure the Left loved most to hate — going back to his being the one to nail Alger Hiss.”
And Len Garment says, “In a sense, it’s even worse now than in Nixon’s time.” But “the abuse is so excessive it resonates only among the not-inconsiderable audience of people who like to hear that sort of thing.”
That would seem like good news. Then again, that audience is “not inconsiderable,” indeed.