This Isn't Watergate?

August 27, 1998
The icons of Presidential scandals are Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. Yet they have been quick to say that the current Presidential scandal doesn't even compare to Watergate. Paul Gigot, writing in the Wall Street Journal, noted this reticence to compare the two scandals. For example, on a recent talk show Carl Bernstein said he didn't want to "minimize the spectacle of a president of the United States lying under oath." But he seemed to do just that by saying that the current scandal was "a kind of jaywalking offense."

Now while I appreciate the attempt to inject some objectivity into the current media feeding frenzy, I must confess my concern that these investigative journalists have lost their edge. The standard used for any scandal in Washington was truth. But over the years, truth has become less important, and morality has become a personal affair.

Mr. Bernstein says the current scandal is merely about a "private consensual sexual" matter that bears no resemblance to Watergate. But why should every Washington scandal measure up to the standard of Watergate? And is it completely accurate to say that the Clinton scandal bears no resemblance to the Nixon scandal?

The first article of impeachment against President Nixon stated that he had made "false or misleading statements." President Clinton has admitted as much. He admitted to misleading the public, and I believe Kenneth Starr's report will be replete with other false and misleading statements by the president.

President Clinton, like President Nixon, likes to blame other people and especially those he considers his enemies for his behavior. Both lied to the American people, and both presided over administrations rocked with scandal. Perhaps Woodward and Bernstein should go back and read "All the President's Men." I think the parallels are closer than they might think.

I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.

© 1998 Probe Ministries International