Appearing on C-Span to discuss the 40th anniversary of the 2 a.m. break-in at the Democratic National Committee's headquarters at the Watergate office complex, Fox News' chief Washington correspondent James Rosen on Sunday seemed to go out of his way to downplay the sprawling political scandal it spawned. That scandal eventually culminated in President's Nixon's resignation.
Rosen, for instance, described Nixon as someone who was in over his head in terms of keeping track of the Watergate cover-up and the long list of players involved. Conversely, the Fox reporter tried to shift the blame onto Nixon's former aide John Dean as the person who may have "ordered" the break-in. (Dean famously turned on Nixon during his Watergate testimony before Congress.)
During his C-Span appearance, Rosen, who has written a book about John Mitchell, who was chairman of Nixon's reelection campaign at the time of the break-in after serving as his attorney general, repeatedly lashed at out Dean, accusing him of "muddying the waters of history" with regards to Watergate.
But if anyone was mudding the waters it was Rosen, who offered this startling response when asked about how Watergate had effected the American political landscape [emphasis added]:
I would say we are a more cynical nation since Watergate. We have less trust in our institutions, including the news media.
It's also the case that the Internet has occurred, has arisen, since Watergate. A number of other things; 9-11, which put Watergate in its perspective.
I think the idea of Fred LaRue skulking around Washington with a manila envelope full of recycled one hundred dollar bills sounds rather petty when juxtaposed to the incineration of three thousand people on a Tuesday morning, as we saw on 9-11.
So history continues to unfold and give us new perspective on Watergate and what its effects on the American political landscape were.
This is a bizarre, and nonsensical, way to view history.