Over the past few days, that false comparison has been made by Ken Rudin, the political director of National Public Radio, who called the Obama White House "Nixonesque"; by Karl Rove, who played a bit role in the Watergate saga as a Young Republican dirty trickster; and by Ruth Marcus, who likened Obama to both Nixon and his attack dog Vice President Spiro Agnew in the Washington Post -- a place where ignorance of the true history of the Nixon era is inexcusable.
But ignorance is epidemic on Capitol Hill and in the capital's newsrooms, so let's say this very simply: Nothing that Obama or any of his aides has done or said remotely resembles the war on the press waged by the Nixon White House until Watergate ended that administration's assaults on the Constitution. Nobody has sent Joe Biden out to question the patriotism of reporters and columnists who criticize the president, as Agnew did repeatedly. And nobody has tried to intimidate the media with obscene threats and tax audits, in the Mafia style of Nixon's aides.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Obama Is Nixon? Get Real!
Joe Conason puts the Obama-Nixon comparison in perspective.