Three years ago the National Archives took control of the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, and an extensive new Watergate exhibit was due to open on July 1st. But history revisionists from the Nixon Foundation are trying to whitewash it.
The Nixon Foundation has filed a complaint with the National Archives over the new Watergate exhibit, saying the new one lacks the proper context to pull wool over the eyes of visitors. The Times spoke with former Nixon aide Bob Bostock, who designed the first Watergate exhibit, which was far kinder to the disgraced president:
Taping and wiretapping go back as far as F.D.R.," Mr. Bostock said. "It lacks the context it needs: that Nixon was not the first president to do some of these things and that some of these things had been going on with many of his predecessors, in some cases, much more than he did."
Uh, sure! It's pretty hard to argue with someone like that. The Times also interviewed the director of the museum, Timothy Naftali, who offered this:
Think about it," he said. "I am not a Nixon loyalist. I am not even a Republican. I am gay. I am from Canada. I was 12 years old when Richard Nixon resigned. I have no skin in the game."
Mr. Naftali spoke in his basement office, where - with no apparent appreciation of the irony - he flinched when a reporter took out a tape recorder for an interview, saying that he would not agree to taping of an interview in his office in the Nixon museum.
For years the National Archives has been trying to add the Nixon Library to the presidential library system. But the Nixon Foundation, apparently unwilling to accept facts, has held the process up with protests like this latest one involving the Watergate exhibit. Bostock adds:
Definitely the president did things that were wrong. He said so himself. The real question always comes to, 'Did the actions that he took that were wrong, did they merit impeachment and removal from my office?' My view is that they did not reach the level of offenses for which he could be impeached and convicted."
Yeah, seriously. Watergate wasn't that big of a deal. But getting blow jobs and ruining perfectly good cigars in the Oval Office, well...
Also, looking for a picturesque, meaningful setting for your wedding? Try the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California! They can offer you and your guests "an unparalleled experience."
[Image via Getty]