As the 50th anniversary of the 1972 election approaches, it is time to reconsider the Watergate controversy that preceded and ultimately partially undid it. I’ve just completed a review for the New Criterion of Michael Dobbs’ new book about Watergate, King Richard. The book repeats endlessly, without any attempt at substantiation, that the Nixon presidency came apart and was righteously legally assaulted because of the infamous “cover-up” consisting mainly in the “hush money” Nixon authorized to be paid to Watergate defendants in order to “keep them quiet.” Once again, and as always, not one whit of evidence was presented in support of the argument that Nixon authorized these payments for any such purpose. It has passed into the universal history of the modern world that he did, but he always denied it. So did some of the defendants, and an exhaustive examination of the very extensive tapes and documents permits a different interpretation.
To the end of his life, Nixon claimed that he authorized the payments in order to assist the defendants in paying their legal bills and taking care of their families. This was particularly urgent in the case of Howard Hunt, whose wife died in an airplane crash shortly after the Watergate affair began. Nixon foresaw the zeal of hostile prosecutors and he knew that any jury in the District of Columbia would be hostile to Republicans. Moreover, as an experienced lawyer, he certainly knew that any large payments to groups of defendants obviously in exchange for silence or false testimony would be an open-and-shut case of obstruction of justice, and would qualify as a high crime justifying his impeachment, removal as president, and subsequent criminal prosecution. Yet this allegation is the core both of the impeachment charge against Nixon in 1974 and of the popularly accepted and endlessly repeated Watergate saga.
It is certainly time that Richard Nixon received balanced historical treatment. He must, of course, take principal responsibility for the disgrace and embarrassment of Watergate; he permitted, and at times encouraged, a tawdry atmosphere within the White House in which legalities were often treated a bit casually and Nixon rather self-servingly applied the Truman-Eisenhower latitudinarian version of national interest and the president’s practically unlimited right to define it. These were terrible tactical errors and no one can deny that Nixon paid heavily for them. But against that, and despite the fact that he was the first president since Zachary Taylor in 1848 to take office with neither house of Congress in the hands of his own party, Nixon enjoyed one of the most successful single terms in the history of the U.S. presidency.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) confirmed in a letter to a member of Congress that it is in the midst of “ongoing business discussions” with a television network that is operated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as reported by the Washington Free Beacon.
In a letter sent to Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on March 30th, NBA Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum explained that the organization is negotiating with China Central Television (CCTV), which is the leading television network for CCP propaganda. Although the NBA has not yet finalized a deal for the 2021, Tatum said that an “active role” is being played in the negotiations by Michael Ma, the CEO of NBA China, whose father once served as a lead executive for CCTV’s sports division.
CCTV specializes in airing pro-CCP propaganda, including forced confessions of political dissidents such as journalists and human rights activists, while also negatively covering the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong by comparing them to the Islamic terror group ISIS. It has also described Chinese-run concentration camps for Uyghur Muslims as “vocational centers.”
A Hong Kong-based think tank suspected of working as a front group for the Chinese Communist Party has cultivated close ties to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and members of the Congressional Black Caucus since 2014.
The China-U.S. Exchange Foundation’s (CUSEF) outreach to the black community is part of a broad initiative to cozy up to prominent organizations in the U.S., including foreign policy think tanks and other elite universities.
CUSEF’s activities have drawn the attention of CIA Director William Burns, who testified at his Senate confirmation hearing last month that he cut ties with CUSEF when he was president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace out of concern over “Chinese influence operations.”
One of China Global Television Network’s most recent ads on Facebook is of an interview that the state-controlled propaganda network conducted about the coronavirus pandemic with the editor of The Lancet, one of the world’s top medical journals.
The editor, Richard Horton, largely praised the Chinese government’s response to the pandemic while blasting the U.S. in the May 2020 interview, which garnered around 900,000 impressions at a cost of around $500, according to Facebook data.
“I think we have a great deal to thank China for, about the way that it handled the outbreak,” Horton said in the interview.
FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress earlier this year that Confucius institutes on American university campuses are a threat to national security. In the wake of that testimony, more than 15 of them have closed their doors.
by Mary Margaret Olohan Google is backing down after labeling the pro-life “Unplanned” movie as “propaganda” on Thursday. “Unplanned,” the story of an abortion doctor and clinic director Abby Johson who left her practice after witnessing an ultra sound abortion, was listed on Google’s search engine as a “drama/propaganda”…
by Nicolas Loris If you’re like me, you’re happy the White House released the latest version of the National Climate Assessment on Black Friday. Publishing the 1,700-page report the day after Thanksgiving saved me from unwanted dinner conversations about our planet’s impending climate doom. But if your aunt calls…