Slow Burn: Watergate

Season 1: Episode 8

Going South

How it all ended.

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Episode Notes

What had to happen for the Watergate scandals to end Richard Nixon’s career? And was his downfall inevitable?

In the final episode of Slow Burn’s first season, Leon Neyfakh assesses the president’s desperate final campaign to save himself—and the people and institutions that finally brought him down.

Read the Episode 8 transcript.

Slate Plus Member Content Bonus Episode

The Watergate Scrapbook

A members-only bonus episode.

Notes on Episode 8

Books

Breslin, Jimmy. How the Good Guys Finally WonViking, 1975.

Doyle, James. Not Above the Law. Morrow, 1977.

Drew, Elizabeth. Washington Journal. Overlook Press, 2014.

Emery, Fred. Watergate: The Corruption of American Politics and the Fall of Richard NixonTimes Books, 1994.

Koch, Benjamin Jonah. Watchmen in the Night: The House Judiciary Committee’s Impeachment Inquiry of Richard Nixon. Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of The University of Texas at Austin, 2011.

Kutler, Stanley. The Wars of Watergate: The Last Crisis of Richard Nixon. W. W. Norton, 1992.

Lang, Gladys Engel and Lang, Kurt. The Battle For Public Opinion: The President, the Press, and the Polls During Watergate. Columbia University Press, 1983.

Lukas, J. Anthony. Nightmare: The Underside of the Nixon YearsViking Press, 1976.

Perlstein, Rick. The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan, Simon & Schuster, 2014.

Sussman, Barry. The Great Cover-Up: Nixon and the Scandal of Watergate, 4th ed., Catapulter Books, 2010 (originally published 1974).

Thomas, Evan. Being Nixon: A Man DividedRandom House, 2015.

Articles

Clines, Francis X. “Spiro T. Agnew, Point Man for Nixon Who Resigned Vice Presidency, Dies at 77.” New York Times, Sept. 19, 1996.

Dixon, Robert G. “Legal Aspects of Impeachment: An Overview,” Department of Justice, Office of Legal Counsel. Feb. 1974.

Friedman, Saul. “Americans Misunderstand and Fear Impeachment,” Detroit Free Press, Jan. 21, 1974.

Naughton, James. “How a Fragile Centrist Bloc Emerged As House Panel Weighed Impeachment,” New York Times, Aug. 5, 1974.

Naughton, James. “How Agnew Bartered His Office to Keep From Going to Prison,” New York Times, Oct. 23, 1973.

Nolan, Jack. “Watergate propelled scholar into impeachment spotlight,” Democrat and Chronicle, Nov. 15, 1974.

Pa. senator speaks on transcripts,” Associated Press, as published in the Daily Kent Stater, May 8, 1974.

Ripley, Anthony. “Federal Grand Jury Indicts 7 Nixon Aides on Charges of Conspiracy on Watergate.” New York Times, March 2, 1974.

Risher, Eugene V. “He Pleads No Contest—Justice Dept. Reveals Evidence, Closes Case.” San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 11, 1973.

Week of Shocks,” Time Magazine, Oct. 22, 1973.

Documentaries

Gold, Mick. Watergate. BBC, 1994.

Episode 8 makes use of archival footage from the following sources:

WJZ-TV, April 1968 (courtesy of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Moving Image Archive)

NBC Nightly News, 8/08/1968 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Nightly News, 9/09/1973 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Special Report, 8/07/1973 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Nightly News, 11/15/1973 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Nightly News, 7/24/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Nightly News, 10/30/1973 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Nightly News, 4/19/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Nightly News, 2/18/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Nightly News, 3/17/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Nightly News, 3/21/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

Presidential Address, 4/29/1974 (courtesy of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum)

NBC Nightly News, 4/30/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Nightly News, 5/01/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Nightly News, 6/23/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Nightly News, 6/19/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Special Report, 7/24/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Nightly News, 7/25/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

House Judiciary Committee, 7/24/1974 (courtesy of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum)

NBC Special Report, 7/28/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

White House Tapes, 6/23/72 (courtesy of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum)

NBC Nightly News, 8/05/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

NBC Special Report, 8/06/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

Presidential Address, 8/08/1974 (courtesy of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum)

NBC Nightly News, 8/09/1974 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

Presidential Address, 9/08/1984 (courtesy of the NBC news archive)

Slow Burn’s theme song is “Back to the Old House” by Niklas Ahlström. Other music in Episode 8 includes “Clean Soul” by Kevin MacLeod.

Season one of Slow Burn was produced by Leon Neyfakh and Andrew Parsons. Bonus episodes for the season were produced by Leon Neyfakh and Jeff Friedrich.

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About the Show

You think you know the story, or maybe you don’t. But Watergate was stranger, wilder, and more exciting than you can imagine. What did it feel like to live through the scandal that brought down President Nixon? Find out on this eight-episode podcast miniseries hosted by Leon Neyfakh. Made possible by Slate Plus members.

Read Leon Neyfakh’s introduction to Season 1.

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