Friday, July 29, 2016

1675 A Paper Lunch Bag in Nixon's Sock Drawer

Leaked emails. Erased emails. Offshore hacking of political websites.  It brings back thoughts of Watergate.

Those of us who were immersed in reporting the Nixon soap opera with its cast of dark characters and secret recordings, midnight phone calls and secret meetings in parking garages still think about it all now and then.  Here’s a new thought: what would have happened if today’s technology had been available in the 1970s?

--No physical break-in.
--No book deals for Woodstein.
--No 18 minute gap.
--No one would remember Martha Mitchell.
--John Dean would be just another lawyer.
--No one would know what happened.
--Nixon would have served his full term.
--No Chevy Chase parodies of Gerald Ford.
--No long national nightmare.

What sparks all this?  The leaks of email that seems to show the Democratic National Committee aborted its neutrality to closet- campaign against Bernie Sanders.

What’s in those emails?  Plans to smear Sanders.
How is that different from a bunch of nightcrawlers --men who looked like flashers breaking into Dem headquarters to find… essentially nothing.

With today’s tech, some Nixonian in a basement in San Clemente or Key Biscayne could have found what the campaign thought it needed using a three hundred dollar laptop, had there been laptops.

And Larry O’Brien might never have known he was hacked.  No Wiki Leaks, then. No one goes to jail.  Nixon wins the election which he would have anyway.

And we’d never have known about the secret recordings.  Bring on the digital files. MP3s on thumb drives.  Even a techno-bumbler like Nixon could push a button to start the recording.  Rosie Woods could have removed the drive at day’s end, labeled it, filed it and put a fresh one in the recording device.

The secret service would be out of the loop. They wouldn’t have kept the record library. The thumb drives would have gone into Woods’ filing cabinet.  No one has ever secured a warrant to search the file cabinets in the Oval Office.  

If push came to shove and anyone found out about the recordings, any dope with a copy of Cool Edit or Adobe Acrobat could have removed any part of any conversation and no one would have been the wiser.  No 18 minute gap.

As for those thumb drives… the president could have stuffed them into a paper lunch bag and stashed them at the bottom of his sock drawer.  

No one has ever secured a search warrant for a president’s sock drawer.

Shrapnel:
--The name wasn’t famous, but the voice was. We note with sadness the passing of Marni Nixon, the often uncredited singer who was the voice of Deborah Kerr in “The King and I” (Getting to know you) Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady” (I Could Have Danced All Night) and many others. Marni Nixon, ghost singer, was 86.

Today’s Quote: “I’m a New Yorker. I know a con when I see one.”  Mike Bloomberg describing Donald Trump in his speech to the Democratic Convention.

Grapeshot:
-Actually, Mike’s from Massachusetts, but he adapted about as well as any out-of-towner ever has… except maybe Paul Simon of Newark NJ who is much less talented.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com

© WJR 2016

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