Bush Nixon Parallels Fall Flat

Well, the latest movie to bash Richard Nixon is just coming out. Ron Howard's "Frost/Nixon" about the famous interviews with the former president and British journalist David Frost was previewed by a select group in Washington followed by a panel discussion. Naturally, Howard and his writing staff tried to draw parallels between Nixon's crimes and President George W. Bush. This drew the ire of one of the last honest journalist, Chris Wallace of Fox News:

But then "FOX News Sunday" host Chris Wallace, braving the liberal wind, asked a question, which was actually more of an accusation. "To compare George W. Bush to Richard Nixon is to trivialize Nixon's crimes and is a disservice to Bush," Wallace said. Recalling that 3,000 people were killed on 9/11, and noting that there hadn't been any attacks on U.S. soil since, Wallace suggested that something had been done right. That’s why, he said, "we are all sitting here tonight so comfortably"-and not afraid of another terrorist attack. Moreover, Wallace said, "Richard Nixon's crimes were committed solely for his own political gain, whereas George W. Bush was trying to protect the American people." To suggest otherwise, Wallace insisted, "was a grave misrepresentation of history, then and now." And, amazingly, Wallace received a smattering of applause.

Seemingly not wanting to get into a fight with the TV newsman, Dallek answered that we knew full well of Nixon's criminality because of the Watergate tapes, but that no similar documentary record existed yet for Bush. Only when such information comes out, Dallek suggested, would the full horror of Bush's presidency become visible. Which, of course, proved Wallace's point: It was not fair to equate proven facts about Nixon with mere allegations about Bush.

"You make suppositions on no facts whatsoever," Wallace concluded.

"Do you read The New York Times?" Dallek countered. That might not have been the strongest comeback ever, but it worked just fine with this audience. And with that, the Q & A session resumed its liberal course for the rest of the evening.

Today's journalists and so-called historians never let facts or the lack thereof get in the way of what they want to believe. The dirty secret is the Robert Dallek's of the world want us to have another Nixon presidency. Corruption allows journalists and historians a chance to be seen, to be in the arena. The Vietnam/Watergate era is for journalists what the Babe Ruth era was for baseball. They want to relive it any way they can, even if it means blurring the line between allegations and facts. Journalism died in 2008 and it won't rise from the ashes, if at all, until the Watergate era journalists are dead and gone.