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Woodward: Media Should Stop Looking For Next Watergate

| by Lauren Briggs

Bob Woodward, the acclaimed Washington Post reporter who, along with Carl Bernstein, broke and covered President Richard Nixon's Watergate scandal in 1973, said that the media is irresponsibly covering President Donald Trump's time in office by hunting for controversy rather than giving him an opportunity to prove himself.

"I think there's so many people treating the Trump presidency as if it's a try-out, as if it's provisional," Woodward told Axios during an interview published on May 24. " … Odds are, he's probably going to be president for a full term, four years, maybe even more."

The legendary journalist urged members of the media to "have a presumption of good will" and an open mind toward the president rather than "hyperventilation" and "too many people" speculating "when's the impeachment coming, how long's he gonna last, will he make it through the summer and so forth."

"I worry, I worry for the business, for the perception of the business, not just Trump supporters, they see that smugness," he explained. " … I think you can ride both horses, intensive inquiry, investigation, not letting up… at the same time, realize that it's not our job to do an editorial on this."

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More important than trying to find the next Trump scandal, Woodward said, is watching for "a leadership vacuum in the world."

Since the start of Trump's presidency, the Washington Post writer has advocated a "wait and see" attitude despite expressing skepticism toward some of the commander-in-chief's actions, such as the termination of former FBI Director James Comey amid an investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

"What's worrisome to a reporter interested in getting facts is, this is so polarized, this is so emotional," Woodward told the Washington Post during a May 10 interview regarding Comey and the Russian investigation. "This is driven by tweets and assertions from people who don't really know. It's too bad we live in this Internet culture of impatience and speed, and it does not set us on the road to gathering facts."

Woodward also said at the time that he wanted to "see what the evidence is" but at the moment found there to be "nothing comparable" between Nixon's incriminating behavior surrounding Watergate and Trump's actions toward Comey.

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"Maybe there will be [something comparable] at some point," he added. "No comparable evidence trail, where there were suggestions of a secret taping system or suggestions of absolutely foolproof evidence."

Sources: Axios, Washington Post / Photo credit: Hillel Steinberg/Flickr

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