From Nixon to Trump, Bob Woodward Delivers the Inside Scoop - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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From Nixon to Trump, Bob Woodward Delivers the Inside Scoop



GV Wire's David Taub interviews legendary journalist and author Bob Woodward on Tuesday, March 28, 2023, the night before his Fresno talk. (Special to GV Wire)
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It didn’t take Deep Throat to get legendary journalist Bob Woodward to open up about covering Watergate on Wednesday morning.

It was just Jim Boren, the former Fresno Bee editor and now head of the Fresno State Institute of Media and Public Trust.

Boren posed questions to Woodward in his San Joaquin Valley Town Hall appearance at the Saroyan Theatre.

The noted Washington Post reporter and prolific best-selling author delivered on the hits, telling stories about breaking the Watergate story that took down Richard Nixon and why Donald Trump would talk with him.

Woodward on the Ford Pardon

A less-heard tale involved President Gerald Ford’s pardon of Nixon in September 1974. Woodward thought it was the next step of high-level corruption.

Carl Bernstein, Woodward’s WaPo partner, told him after the news of the pardon, “The S.O.B. pardoned the S.O.B.”

Nearly 25 years later, Woodward changed his mind after interviewing Ford. Another thing that helped change Woodward’s mind was Ford receiving the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award in 2001.

“What else did I get wrong?” Woodward said, to laughter from the hundreds in the audience.

Deep Throat, Trump, and the Future of Journalism

Woodward talked about his Watergate source, “Deep Throat,” who later unmasked himself as Mark Felt, the FBI associate director in charge of the Watergate investigation.

Because of Felt’s position, he met with Woodward and Bernstein in underground parking garages.

“I was new to this. I thought reporters did this all the time,” Woodward said. He hasn’t had an underground parking meeting since.

Woodward had no trouble having Trump open up to him in a series of recorded interviews starting in 2019. But he revealed that Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, helped open the door to Trump’s decision to do the interviews.

“He won’t put words in your mouth,” Woodward said Graham told Trump.

“You have to challenge him, but not argue with him,” Woodward said of interviewing Trump.

The interviews yielded four books examining the Trump White House: “Fear,” “Rage,” “Peril,” and “The Trump Tapes.”

Regarding the future of journalism, Woodward said the continuing decline of local newspapers is a threat to democracy.

Social media has also played a role, reducing the patience of news consumers.

“You can’t consense on social media,” Woodward said.

Matlin Will Close Town Hall Season

Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin will deliver the final Town Hall lecture for the season, scheduled for April 19, 10:30 a.m. at Saroyan Theatre.

GV Wire co-sponsors the Town Hall series.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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