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It Didn't Start With Watergate Hardcover – May, 1977
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Lasky describes the shoddy journalism of clearly biased news sources. The same agenda reporting is obvious in todays major media. The press has been, and still is, more likely to cover the failings of their ideological opponents. As Lasky continually illustrates, media favorites were seldom scrutinized and never were these miscreants taken to task.
Documented throughout with private testimony, Commitee testimony, news accounts and some government agency reports, Lasky's reportage dips far back into the vindictive actions of Franklin Roosevelt. We are led through the Truman administration into both the unethical and illegal acts of the Kennedys. Finally capping this accounting of dirty tricks with a near out of control LBJ. Many of the lesser participants are studied.
Vote fraud and wiretapping have always been with us. Illegal abuse of Presidential power has been exercised since at least as early as FDR's administration. N.Y. Congressman Hamilton Fish, an opponent of FDR's New Deal and a leader of the antiwar movement, was on FDR's enemies list. As such he had his telephones tapped and suffered five years of IRS audits that Fish contended cost him at least $50,000 to respond to and resulted in a refund of $80.Read more ›
Next, he shows how Watergate built up into a, to use one of Lasky's favorite terms, "pseudo-event" that a biased press and congress used to draw and quarter Nixon. After explaining their biases and why they had them, he exposes the fraudulence of the proceedings and the crushing verdict.
Finally, he delivers the pies de resistance--The Watergate fallout. Following the charge and an ever-apparent conviction in the Senate, Nixon now has no choice but to resign. Even the liberals will have to feel the pain as he gives full accounts of the last hours in the office. Coming to the conclusion that everyone gained nothing from all that hullaballoo, he ends very simply :
"Then he was gone."
Victor Lasky, a conservative columnist, provides a brief guide from the "everybody does it" perspective. Lasky explores the slippery slopes where "hard ball" politics merges into the illegal underworld, the underside of American federal politics. And it didn't start with Watergate.
"In May 1973...Bob Considine asked John Roosevelt, the President's youngest son, what he thought about the scandal. John Roosevelt responded, "I can't understand all the commotion in this case. Hell, my father just about invented bugging. Had them spread all over, and thought nothing of it." (P.168)
Lasky discusses the Kennedy's questionable election victory over Nixon in 1960, their surveillance of Martin Luther King, Bobby Kennedy's "gloves off" (and maybe illegal) campaign against Jimmy Hoffa, JFK's "mysterious fortune", the "Murder Incorporated" (to use LBJ's words) the Kennedys were running in the Caribbean, the bugging campaign against Goldwater (that seems to have been a lot more effective and better run than anything the Nixon campaign attempted), LBJ's tactics at the 1964 Democratic Convention and other incidents. The reader gets the impression the Nixonites were if anything second raters in this game. Lasky certainly portrays the Establishment liberals as the masters of this murky world. At least they were then. To my mind, maybe a more accurate reading is that the Nixonites had the bad luck to get caught at a time when the balance of political power, both in Congress and amongst the key Washington media organisations was already running against them.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lasky's facts and research came to me as a revelation. Maybe I was naive, but as I suspect of most Americans, I wasn't fully aware of LBJ, JFK, RFK, Truman and Roosevelt's... Read morePublished on August 9, 2014 by KevinW
Lasky was a conservative columnist and Nixon partisan who makes many good points in his book about corruption and abuse of power being a bipartisan problem. Read morePublished on August 6, 2013 by TLR
It's hair-raising to read how the Democrats have been using the federal bureaucracy against their opponents since at least the 1930s. Read morePublished on July 1, 2013 by Beverly