Sweat Not Melodrama: Reading the Structure of Feeling in All the President’s Men
Format of Original
Journalism: Theory, Practice & Criticism
Original Item ID
Thirty years after the initial break-in, Watergate holds a mythic status within the history of American journalism. Whether individuals consider Watergate the beginning of modern investigative journalism or maintain that The Washington Post’s reportage helped destroy the legitimacy of the American political process, the press’s role in this political scandal continues to inspire journalists and provide justification for First Amendment protection of the press. Quite apart from the actual experience of Watergate, this essay suggests that the most famous chronicle of this political scandal, All the President’s Men, codifies an ideology of journalism which has framed an understanding of the role of the press in the United States and Western Europe since the 1970s. All the President’s Men can be read as an ur-text - a seminal text that illustrates a specific structure of feeling regarding the construction of contemporary journalistic practices.