For Journalists Covering the June 23, 2009, Nixon Tapes Release

Tuesday 16 June, 2009 at 2:46 am Ken 0

The purpose of this post is two-fold: 


1. To help reporters avoid making big mistakes in their reports on the next Nixon tapes release
2. To help me avoid reading big mistakes in their reports on the next Nixon tapes release. 

Yes, I’m a big old Nixon tapes/Nixon docs/Vietnam/Decent Interval nerd. Let’s be honest. That’s what brought you here into my virtual lair. I hope you enjoy your stay. Come freely, go safely, and leave a little of the happiness you bring, bwahahaha*cough*. 

Just imagine that you need to catch up on a decade or so’s worth of archival revelations, but all you have is seven units of time, each totaling one-sixth of an hour or less. Say! Look over here! Someone has converted archival revelations into pleasing and convenient video form

While providing you with such tremendous viewing pleasure must seem unfathomably generous on my part, and truly is, I just know that some of you — conscientious, self-respectful reporters whose relentless pursuit of the truth will become the stuff of legend one day if it hasn’t already — will want to know how the lesser lights of an entry-barrier-free profession mishandled (that was not the first verb that came to mind) the last tape opening

ETA: A post on Nixon’s threats of a cutoff of U.S. aid to South Vietnam led by congressional conservatives. ***This threat finally worked in January of 1973, so the tapes being released on June 23, 2009, may shed some light on it.***



ETA: June 23, 10:51 AM: First New Nixon Tapes Quote: “I’d . . . Cut Off His Head if Necessary.”

ETA: June 23, 4:31 PM: “A War . . . Which We Can No Longer Win.”


The hour when 154 hours of Nixon White House tapes from January and February of 1973 will go on line: 9:00 AM Eastern, 6:00 AM Pacific Tuesday, June 23, 2009.

I’ll add links to this page as I post more useful background information for the upcoming Nixon tapes release so please come visit again or subscribe to this blog! 

On the day of the release, I’ll be searching for noteworthy and newsworthy tapes and posting here. If you have questions or want some fact-checking help, email me: kh7h (at) virginia.edu. 




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