A trope that knows few bounds: The hero-journalist myth

Media Myth Alert

The heroic-journalist myth of Watergate — the notion that intrepid news reporters for the Washington Postbrought down Richard Nixon’s corrupt presidency — is a trope that knows few bounds.

It’s one of the favorite stories American journalism tells about itself, and it turns up often, even in such unexpected places as online celebrity gossip sites.

The well-known gossip columnist Liz Smith casually invoked the myth the other day, in an item at wowowow.com about Carl Bernstein. He is the former Washington Post reporter who figured prominently in the newspaper’s coverage of the unfolding Watergate scandal in 1972-73.

Smith referred to Bernstein as the “Watergate partner of Bob Woodward whose work for the Washington Post brought down the Nixon presidency.”

The heroic-journalist myth of Watergate is a hardy one: It lives on in textbooks, it’s taught in schools, and it rattles around in newsrooms.

It’s quite unrestrained in its reach…

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About Jim Rose

Utopia - you are standing in it promotes a classical liberal view of the world and champion the mass flourishing of humanity through capitalism and the rule of law. The origin of the blog is explained in the first blog post at https://utopiayouarestandinginit.wordpress.com/2014/03/12/why-call-my-blog-utopia-you-are-standing-in-it/

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