Chris Wallace and Why Watergate Worked

At a screening of the film Frost/Nixon, Fox News Channel‘s Chris Wallace defends George W. Bush against the assertion–which doesn’t seem to have been made by anyone present–that Bush’s crimes were worse than Richard Nixon’s (Salon, 12/2/08):

It trivializes Nixon’s crimes and completely misrepresents what George W. Bush did. Whatever George W. Bush did was after the savage attack of 9/11, in which 3,000 Americans were killed, it was done in service of trying to protect this country. I’m not saying that you have to agree with everything he did, but it was all done in the service of trying to protect this country and keep us safe. And the fact is that we sit here so comfortably, and the country has not been attacked again since 9/11.

Of course, Nixon would have argued that everything he did was in the service of trying to protect America from enemies. (In fact, if I remember correctly, he does make this argument in the theatrical version of Frost/Nixon, which draws heavily from transcripts of actual interviews.) The enemies the U.S. faced then were much better armed than the ones it faces now–and they never attacked us, so, hey, Watergate must have worked!

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.