Archive for February, 2011

Woodward and Bernstein “Light a Fire” by Inspiring America

Richard Nixon’s tenure as the President of the United States was regarded as one of the most controversial terms this country has ever seen. Nixon was the only president to ever resign from his duties leading the country. The reason being that illegal actions under the Nixon administration went on under his knowledge. Five men broke into the Democratic party headquarters in the Watergate Hotel located in Washington, DC. This became known as “The Watergate Scandal.”

The story is so significant that since Watergate a lot of scandals have used a “-gate” attached to the end of it. I’ve noticed it mostly in sports for example “Spygate,” when the New England Patriots were filming their division rival New York Jets during practice. “Tripgate” is the most recent in December when then Jets strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi tripped an opponent while running after a punt. This caused the Jets to suspend¬†Alosi and led to his resignation.

In class we watched “Lighting the Fire” from the film “All the President’s Men,”¬†that centers on two journalists that work for the Washington Post named Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. They released knowledge from an anonymous source on everything from the break-in to how the administration tried to cover it up.

Woodward and Bernstein changed American politics for good and inspired investigative journalists all over. It showed that a journalist can do so much like uncover a Presidential scandal. It is also said that if Watergate did not happen, then none of it would be exposed and this changed the relationship between politics and the press.

The film really showed American journalism at their best and to their highest potential. Schools were being crowded by people who wanted to do what Woodward and Bernstein did. They sparked America with great facts on a story that everyone was interested in and the media loved it.

I think the story is amazing and the film was exceptional. I thought the whole idea of the scandal was insane. To actually do what those men did and the fact that the president was covering it up is absurd and the fact that Woodward and Bernstein were uncovering it as rumors were going. They exposed lies and corruption and that not even the president can get away with it and be above the law. The legacy they left back was inspiring and it gave people hope.


The Tillman Story: The Army and Propaganda

Bill Maher had Richard Tillman, the brother of the late Pat Tillman on his show to talk about the death of his brother and the film “The Tillman Story.” My impression of Richard Tillman in this interview that he seems more angry than sad about his brother’s death. Someone can only wonder why these are his emotions after such a tragedy. This was an interesting and detailed interview and it opened my eyes up to a lot of things I did not realize when Tillman’s death was originally reported.

The story of Pat Tillman is very remarkable. Pat played in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals. In 2002, a few months after the September 11th attack, he decided to walk away from a very bright future in football and enlisted in the United States Army. Some people already viewed Pat as a hero just for that big transition.

In April of 2004, it was reported that Pat Tillman was killed when his unit was ambushed. However, this was investigated and the conclusion was that he was killed from a friendly fire. His uniform was burned, and his diary was nowhere to be found. The Tillman family thought this was a fishy situation. The army didn’t inform the family until weeks after the funeral about the truth of his death.

The family felt that the Army manipulated his death as propaganda to coverup their flaws. They believed that they should have been told the truth about it right away instead of being in the dark about it until over a month of speculation. This sounds very unusual for the Army to do, but Maher explains in the interview that 52% of deaths come from friendly fires now. This can be happening to anyone and it is not the right thing to do.

Tillman’s mother wrote a book and their was the release of the film that was explaining the truth of the evens and attacking the Army’s actions. I look at this as an act of propaganda on the Tillman family as well to get everyone against the Army and what is going on in the Middle East. I understand that they are mad at the government, the army, and the Bush Administration, but I don’t know if what they are doing is the right thing. They are promoting an anti-war agenda and the propaganda while mourning the death of their son.



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