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As a teenager, when my schoolmates were dutifully doing their assigned reading of “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Red Badge of Courage,” I was reading everything I could get my hands on about Watergate, including everything written by Bob Woodward. Watergate turned me into a fan of the ideal of journalism; reality turned me into the guy who loves writing for Big Journalism.

Everything being the same, had Nixon been a Democrat, there would have been no Watergate because Ben Bradlee, the Washington Post, and Carl Bernstein never would have risked damaging a Democrat president. That’s not to mitigate Nixon’s crimes, but we all know that’s true about the Post. An exception to that hypothetical is Bob Woodward.

The Post never would have allowed Woodward to pursue a Democrat administration involved in Watergate, but I think he would have wanted to. And forty years later, he remains one of the handful of real journalists worthy of admiration. That’s not to say he’s perfect, but he has earned my respect.

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