WashPost Repeats: 'None of the So-Called Current Scandals' Compare to Watergate

Even forty years later, The Washington Post loves the opportunity to burnish its own Watergate legend. That scandal is somehow the Uber-Scandal of All Time And Space. This came in a Style-section front-pager on Thursday on Elizabeth Drew, who's barely been noticed since she was dumped by Tina Brown at The New Yorker twenty years ago.

Drew's Watergate diaries are being reissued, and Melinda Henneberger wrote "None of the current so-called scandals, as she sees them, can compare to Watergate, which was 'without precedent or successor.' But she isn’t so sure we’ve learned anything in the years since that would keep another 'totally out-of-control' president from trying to illegally undermine the adversaries that Nixon always made the mistake of seeing as enemies."

So none of the Watergate echoes of Obama's IRS targeting scandal, or reporter-prosecuting at the Justice Department could possible by more than a "so-called current scandal."

Hennenberger lamely tried to justify offering Drew this gift of publicity:

At 78 — “I’m not embarrassed about it; it’s just odd,” she says of her age — she’s never stopped writing, and she remains a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books. Yet as her Watergate book is coming out again, she’s added a new chapter, too, as a Twitter maven, Rolling Stone contributor, and recent discovery of a new generation of journalists, including her friends Molly Ball of the Atlantic, Ezra Klein of Vox.com and Annie Lowrey of the New York Times, who are among those co-hosting a book party for her on Thursday. [Klein and Lowrey are married.]

“She’s become a sort of mentor to me,’’ says Ball, who first met her through Twitter and found her “just fun to hang out with. I got to know her first and then read her books, but they’re a revelation and the Watergate one, like nothing else I’ve ever read about that period, really shows what it was like to be there.” But Drew is also fully present in this moment, Ball says. “She always wants to know who the new people are and what the gossip is.”

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis