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History As It Happens

Jun 8, 2023

Note: Audio clips of "White House Plumbers" are courtesy HBO. Audio of the "smoking gun" Nixon tape is from

Will Americans ever tire of Watergate? The notorious scandal that brought down a president – the scandal against which all future cases of presidential malfeasance would be measured – continues to bubble up in pop culture. The HBO series “White House Plumbers” is a comedic depiction of the bumbling burglars who were caught breaking into the DNC headquarters inside the Watergate hotel in 1972. In this episode, historian Ken Hughes, a renowned expert on secret presidential recordings and author of two books on Richard Nixon’s criminality, talks about the ongoing fascination with Watergate, and whether comedy or satire is as effective as drama in portraying the extraordinary events that wrecked Nixon's presidency.