The movie entitled All the President’s Men discussed the details about the Watergate Scandal which eventually became the reason why President Richard Nixon was forced to resign. Through the hard work and dedication of two Washington Post reporters named Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, they slowly but surely uncovered the Watergate Scandal which had a huge impact on President Nixon being able to win a second term (Feeney 256). The courage of Woodward and Bernstein made sure that America and the whole world would know the unethical practices that were done by people close to President Nixon to ensure that he would remain in power for an extended period. Thus, once essay writer the Watergate Scandal was exposed to the public, President Nixon was left with no choice but to step down.
The legal issue that was dealt with in this film was the corrupt practices that were being done by the Committee to Re-elect the President in connection to President Nixon’s drive to win a second term. It was revealed that the people behind the Committee to Re-elect the President were involved in unethical activities to gather funds so that the campaign of President Nixon for a second term would push through. Aside from this, the people running the Committee to Re-elect the President were discovered to have orchestrated a political sabotage campaign against the Democrats who were aspiring to become president so that they will be destroyed in public and will not stand a chance against President Nixon. True enough, the political sabotage campaign worked as President Nixon had an easy time getting reelected. However, this victory was short-lived because once the Watergate Scandal broke out, President Nixon knew that he was bound to get impeached in the long run as the evidences were very strong against the people involved in the Committee to Re-elect the President. Thus, rather than face the embarrassment and misery of impeachment, President Nixon just decided to resign.
The critical role of investigative reporting in bringing to light major corruption in a major political institution was very evident in All the President’s Men. The courage and determination oftwo Washington Post reporters named Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein made it possible for America and the world to know the corrupt practices that were done by the people involved in the Committee to Re-elect the President who were all very close to President Nixon (Ehrlich 114). The Watergate Scandal was a very difficult case for both reporters to handle considering the influential people who were involved in this scandal. There was James W. McCord, Jr. who had connections to the Central Intelligence Agency at that time. There was Hugh W. Sloan, Jr. who eventually became a whistleblower and revealed to the reporters how the Committee to Re-elect the President was getting funds illegally. There was White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman and Attorney General John N. Mitchell who eventually became the leader of the Committee to Re-elect the President.
As Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein kept on digging deeper into the Watergate Scandal, the more they realized that this was as serious as it can get. They knew that President Nixon was in big trouble because of the unethical activities that were done by people he trusted so that he can have a second term as president. Nonetheless, Woodward and Bernstein knew that as investigative reporters, it was their responsibility to expose the truth to the people even if it would hurt the image of the President of America. There was never any doubt that Woodward and Bernstein would reveal everything they knew through their article in the Washington Post. January 20, 1973 was the date when America and the whole world finally knew of the Watergate Scandal. Woodward and Bernstein were vindicated because their courage to expose the truth led to the downfall of President Nixon who had to save himself from further embarrassment by resigning.
The movie entitled Spotlight discussed the courage and determination of the Spotlight team of the Boston Globe in exposing the rampant sexual abuse activities that were being done by Catholic priests in Massachusetts. The Spotlight team led by Walter Robinson and Marty Baron worked hard to expose this scandal involving the Catholic priests who kept on getting away with the sexual abuse activities that they were doing to children because of the efforts of the Boston Archdiocese led by Cardinal Bernard Law to prevent these embarrassing incidents from getting exposed to the public (Wihbey 30). Nonetheless, the hard work of the investigative reporters of the Spotlight team paid off because these unethical activities of the Catholic priests in Massachusetts were eventually revealed by publishing their findings through the articles that they wrote in the Boston Globe.
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The legal issue that was dealt with in this film was the sexual abuse activities that were being done by the Catholic priests in Massachusetts. This was very controversial because the Catholic priests were supposed to be celibate and role models for everybody. The Catholic priests should be representatives of God in this world. However, as it turned out, many of them in Massachusetts were pretending to be God’s messengers when they were truly maniacs who could not control their sexual desires. It did not help that the Boston Archdiocese led by Cardinal Bernard Law was aware of these unethical activities being done by the Catholic priests and yet, he did not do anything to punish these unholy people. This was exactly what happened in the case of Fr. John Geoghan who was simply let go after getting arrested for sexual abuse of a child. It was eventually revealed that Cardinal Bernard Law was involved in the release of Fr. John Geoghan which led to the dismay of the police officers who arrested him. With the Boston Archdiocese turning a blind eye about these sexual abuse activities being done by its priests, it should not be surprising anymore that these unethical activities became rampant.
The critical role of investigative reporting in bringing to light major corruption in a major religious institution was very evident in the movie Spotlight. The title of the movie itself referred to the Spotlight team of the Boston Globe whose members were hard-working and relentless investigative reporters. The Catholic Church was the religious institution that was involved in corruption here because of the sexual abuse activities that were being done by its priests in Massachusetts. With the Catholic Church being a dominant religion in America, the Spotlight team members knew that they were up for a tremendous challenge. Their investigation became even more difficult once they realized that the Boston Archdiocese itself led by Cardinal Bernard Law was trying to cover up the sexual abuse activities that were being done by the Catholic priests.
Nonetheless, the Spotlight team led by Walter Robinson and Marty Baron remained unfazed as everybody worked hard to expose this scandal involving the Catholic priests in Massachusetts. The investigative reporters eventually got their leads in Phil Saviano who was fighting in behalf of the children who were sexually abused by the Catholic priests, and Mitchell Garabedian who was the one who revealed to the Spotlight team that it was Cardinal Bernard Law himself who was behind the cover up of the sexual abuse activities that were being done by the Catholic priests. The members of the Spotlight team kept on digging deeper into this scandal and they continued to gather all the facts that they needed before finally being convinced that it was time for them to publish their findings in the Boston Globe. The vindication for the Spotlight team happened after publishing the findings because many other victims of sexual abuse by the Catholic priests started to come out one after another after they read the scandal in the Boston Globe. This only proved that the findings of the Spotlight team were correct, and these victims of sexual abuse can now fight for justice that they deserve.
Ehrlich, Matthew. Journalism in the Movies. Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2010.
Feeney, Mark. Nixon at the Movies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2012.
Wihbey, John. The Social Fact: News and Knowledge in a Networked World. Boston: The MIT Press, 2019.