Unlike in Watergate, Media Offers a Choice of Facts

In Media, Misleading Information On
- Updated

When I asked Mr. Woodward earlier this year if the Watergate charges would have forced a presidential resignation in this environment, he said he believed they would have. The strength of the evidence, including the Oval Office tapes of Nixon engaged in the plotting, was too overwhelming to be denied in any environment, he said.

Mr. Bernstein wasn’t so sure when we spoke on Friday. “The big difference between then and now is that there was an open-mindedness among citizens in the country to the best obtainable version of the truth,” he said.

Now, ”more and more people,’’ he said, “are looking for information in the media and elsewhere that will reinforce what they already believe.”

He put the onus for that on “a media culture and a political culture — and a larger culture — that is a caldron of outrage.”

Yet what will matter most is whether the special counsel investigating the ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert S. Mueller III, finds any actual wrongdoing.

Maybe he won’t. But if he does, how much of the country will believe it?

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