Wednesday, January 2, 2013

All The President’s Men: First and Second Level Inquiry

These are the first and second level inquiries for completing tasks of my The Well-Educated Mind Self-Project. The third one would be posted separately.

Grammar-Stage Reading

Who is this story about? What challenge did they face?

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward are two Washington Post’s reporters who covered news of Watergate scandal that forced President Richard M. Nixon to resign his office. They wanted to reveal the truth—who, why, how—behind the breaking-in and tapping of the Democratic headquarter.

Who or what causes this challenge?

Watergate seemed to be controlled by President Nixon’s Committee for Re-election of The President (CRP) team. Of course, White House denied and covered up any inquiries from reporters that had any chance to put them in dangerous position.

What happened to the two reporters?

Confronted with the absolute power of high level executives, the two reporters had bravely submitted direct inquiries to powerful people, sometimes attacking them through their news—while kept maintaining the newspaper’s integrity by never reporting something they were not 100% sure of the accuracy —in order to reveal the truth.

Logic-State Reading

Look for the reporters major assertions

Since this story was previously written as series of reports in newspaper, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward published this book also as a chronological series of reports; and therefore I could not find the explicit major assertions within the history. However, I think the reporters wanted to highlight that it is the nation’s and people’s responsible to seek the truth about their government, even if it might have been conducted by the highest levels of authorities. We must always look at and thoroughly work on all possibilities and chances; that nothing is impossible.

What questions are the reporters asking?

They knew that Watergate had something to do with the high levels in White House; the question was how far the moral corruption had infected White House. Did the President involve in this, did he know about it, or was it merely his men’s action?

What sources do the reporters use to answer them?

They dug every news—new and old ones, every comment from interviews with so many people--but they had also a valuable secret source that seemed to know everything and involved in the case. This source—nicknamed Deep Throat—has guided the reporters to find the truth, without revealing his own identity. They also consulted their lawyer for legal aspects of interviewing, quoting comments and reporting it for the newspaper.

Does the evidence support the connection between questions and answers?

In their reports, the two reporters always followed journalism ethics by cross-examining and reconfirming news with other sources, and provided the subject chances to deny or confirm the news. So, I think they always used a respectable evidence to answer their questions.


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