Nixon, Watergate, and the Attempt to Sway Public Opinion

  • Todd Belt
Part of the The Evolving American Presidency Series book series (EAP)


Richard Nixon never had a particularly good relationship with the press during his long political career. Upon parting the electoral scene after his 1962 California gubernatorial defeat by Pat Brown, he famously admonished the press that they would not “have Nixon to kick around anymore.” But his subsequent comment about the coverage he received during the campaign is very telling: “[the press] have a right and a responsibility, and if they’re against a candidate, give him the shaft, but also recognize if they give him the shaft, put one lonely reporter on the campaign who will report what the candidate says now and then.”1 These comments were supposed to be his last press conference in a career marked by a particularly con- flictual relationship with the press. But Nixon resumed his battles with the press as he reentered the political fray to campaign for the presidency in 1968. His five and a half years in office were marked by a continuance of the combative relationship, culminating in his all out war with the press over the Watergate affair.


Public Opinion Press Conference Union Address Midterm Election Nixon Administration 
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Copyright information

© Michael A. Genovese and Iwan W. Morgan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Todd Belt

There are no affiliations available

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