The movie “All the President”s Men” 1976, is based on the work of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein two Washington Post newspaper writers, who uncovered the cover-up of the White House”s involvement in the Democratic Party National headquarters, Watergate, break-in. At first, Bob Woodward discovers what seems to be a minor break-in but is surprised to find that top lawyers were already on the defense case. He also discovers that names and addresses of Republican fund organizers were being accused, which further aroused his suspicions.
When he brings this to the attention of the head of the Washington Post, he is prepared to run with the story and assigns Woodward and Carl Bernstein to it. Their findings of this break-in paved a path that lead to the White House, where it was soon learned that President Richard M. Nixon of the USA, was involved and resigned after Woodward and Bernstein’s findings. Conversely, my two significant instances are, Woodward and Bernstein’s actions on their process of contacting the sources that were involved because they worked for the re-election committee.Order now
The other instance I chose is that of both Woodward and Bernstein intruding into the house of Mr. Sloan very late at night, a man well interacted with the political figures they were researching on. Woodward and Bernstein didn’t abide by many of the values and ethics theories we’ve learned from our book and in class. It also seemed as if the unethical actions they took weren’t as enforced then as they are now. Woodward and Bernstein took the action of contacting various sources for their source of information on the Watergate case.
The lists of people contacted by the two were those that worked for the re-election committee. They asked a Washington Post female co-worker to get them the office’s worker directory since she used to date one of the men that worked at the committee. They then took these workers phone numbers from the directory listing and called them up. This is unethical according to the theories listed in our book, first of they are using another’s past relation in order to get papers for them, and second they are intruding in these workers lives.
The problem would not be that big if they just gave a call, but when they noticed no one answered their phones they actually went out and bombarded these people at their homes with questions, when the information they took were without permission in the first place. Their actions did not follow both Bok’s Model and Aristotle’s’ Golden Mean theories. One of Bok’s values on ethical issues is to have empathy for others, which Bernstein and Woodward didn’t have.
They both knew that the workers were being watched after a few tries of door knocking and that by them showing up and talking can cause these people to lose their jobs. They both still pursued on and didn’t care what would happen with those people. Aristotle’s’ Golden Mean of making the majority happy was also not applied. As they made these people more scared of what if they loose their jobs, and of intruding in their houses unexpectedly. Also they were not making the politics involved or anyone working or that voted for them happy, as it seemed as if they were degrading these public figures.
On the other hand, another instance that was not of ethical justice was that of both Woodward and Bernstein appearing at the house of Mr. Sloan. A person that is very active with the politicians involved in this mystery and also a high ranked worker for the re-election committee. Both of the journalists showed up at his house very late at night through his backyard, and all that Mr. Sloan can see were shadows. It seemed, as thieves were getting ready to raid his home. But to his surprise it was Woodward and Bernstein.
In pertaining to Bok’s model again, they weren’t really abiding by her theory on empathy. Bok explains to ask yourself if the actions you are taking are right beforehand and if it is obligatory for you to do such things. It was obvious that Woodward and Bernstein did not asked themselves these questions before going out there. In today’s society everything is stricter and you have to abide by and know your media ethical rules and theories. It is important in today’s media workplace to know and apply all the theories listed, including that of Bok’s and Aristotle’s.
In the 70’s it seemed as if this was not a huge issue, but after seeing the Woodward and Bernstein case, a lot of the theories were rechecked and updated to make people feel more secure. Although Woodward and Bernstein did get out there and showed the public what goes on behind the political scenes and made us aware of being more careful when voting for our next president. These findings could have not been done in a different matter than the ones taken by Woodward and Bernstein, since everything was being kept so secretive.