Ben Bradlee and the scandal's 'best-kept secret'

Katharine Graham on the 'Watergate Watershed'

A Post reporter reviews 'All the President's Men'

Bradlee and Woodward answer your questions


Photos by: (clockwise) Diane Walker/The Washington Post; Mark Godfrey; UPI/Bettmann; (Nixon) Associated Press; Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post.
T he newspaper that owns this Web site was transformed by the downfall of the 37th president. The printing plate that made the front page announcing President Richard M. Nixon's resignation still hangs on the wall in a conference room where The Washington Post's editors meet each day. And the legacy of The Post's role in unearthing some of the Watergate mystery hangs with it, invisibly challenging and inspiring those who work there.

To former Post publisher Katharine Graham, Watergate was "the most important occurrence in my working life." Then-executive editor Ben Bradlee remembers the 26-month scandal as the "most intense moment of all our lives" -- and the source of one of the "best-kept secrets" in Washington journalism.

And for reporter Ken Ringle, those "draining, mesmerizing, pulse-racing days" made for one good movie.

Publisher Katharine Graham: Watergate was "the most important occurrence in my working life."

Watergate not only brought down a president. The scandal also catapulted investigative journalists to heights of fame that were previously reserved for people on the other side of the reporter's notebook. Watergate coverage, especially at The Post, also raised questions about celebrity journalism and the use of anonymous sources that still confound reporters, editors and the public.

Other news organizations covered Watergate, too. CBS News and the Los Angeles Times aggressively pursued the story behind the botched break-in. But the scandal made Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward famous. Their months of dogged reporting won the newspaper a coveted Pulitzer Prize for public service -- and won the journalists a book contract. Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman portrayed the reporters in the 1975 film version of their best-selling "All the President's Men" -- a movie that inspired an entire generation of reporters.

Bradlee and Woodward will answer your questions about Watergate's legacy on Thursday, June 19, during an interactive discussion on

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