The big problem with comparing Trump to Nixon

The big problem with comparing Trump to Nixon

Nixon and Trump. Both presidents faced major FBI investigations, were accused of obstructing justice. called their investigations “witch hunts,” and oozed raw sexual charisma. It’s not a perfect analogy, but the similarities have led some to argue
that, like Nixon, Trump’s time is running out. What’s going on here is very Nixonian. Having prosecuted the Watergate case, we’re well on our way to impeachment. I was in the Nixon administration, as you
know. I think we’re in impeachment territory now. But the truth is these two are living in totally different
worlds. And that has less to do with what’s happening at the FBI and more to do with what’s happening on Fox News. The media and the Democrats have lied to you. Trying to create a Watergate out of this. Desperate to get back to the days of Watergate. The elite media is part of the “deep state.” You, the American people, should never trust this “destroy Trump” corrupt media. I know we’re all trapped in a flaming media hellscape right now. But during Watergate, things were way different. At the time, there were three national nightly broadcast
news shows, 30 minutes each. Big cities typically had one or two major
papers. There were a couple of radio stations. And that was about it. No 24-hour cable news, no push notifications, no Twitter, no blogs, no internet. God, that sounds peaceful. And that meant that, Democrat or Republican, Americans were basically getting the same
news. This is the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite. People are basically reading and hearing and watching the same things. And they by and large believe the news that
they hear. This is Nicole Hemmer, political historian and author of Messengers of the Right: Conservative Media and the Transformation of American Politics. We’ll get to that “transformation” in a second. Hemmer says there is conservative media in
1970; it just looks really different. There is conservative talk radio. There are conservative publications like National Review and Human Events, but they’re so much smaller than they are
today. Like, when I talk about Human Events and National
Review, that’s just about it when it comes to weekly conservative publications. And while that might seem like a supply problem, it’s actually a demand problem. In the 1970s, Americans had incredible trust in the news they were getting. 69 percent— Nice. Are you serious? 69 percent of Americans expressed a great or fair amount of trust in the media. And that trust meant there wasn’t really an
appetite for right-wing news. Most Americans have faith in the objectivity of mainstream media. They trust it. If Walter Cronkite says something, it’s not seen as liberal propaganda. It’s seen as, here’s this guy who knows something, who’s telling us something objective and true about the world. And that’s the way it is. That’s the way it is. That’s the way it is. That became a big deal during Watergate. As the investigation turned into a national
story, Nixon lashed out, calling it a witch hunt and attacking the media for covering it. I have never heard or seen such outrageous
reporting in 27 years of public life. And conservative outlets came to Nixon’s defense. One conservative radio personality said the
press had turned a prosecution into a persecution. An article in National Review even suggested that Watergate was a trap set up by the CIA. They definitely didn’t use the language of
the “deep state,” but that was kind of lurking there. But despite their efforts, conservative media just couldn’t change people’s
minds about what was going on. They don’t have the power to drive or to shape the conversation about Watergate. There’s not really an alternative story Republicans can credibly spin, because they’re not just going up against
Democrats; they’re going up against all the networks, all the newspapers. And so having that uniting narrative, that really matters. To be under a constant barrage on each of the three major networks tends to raise some questions in the people’s
mind. That’s really too much for Republicans to
resist. My phone calls were 100 to 1 in favor of pursuing the path of impeachment, which was rather
shocking to me. By 1974, Republicans in Congress begin moving to impeach Nixon. And by August, Nixon resigns. Events have been rushing toward one seemingly inevitable conclusion: removal from office. There was kind of a cohesive message about what Watergate was, what it meant. It would have been nearly impossible for the Nixon administration to muddy the waters. That’s not the case today. Right. Today. The flaming hellscape. Or as Hemmer might call it: the transformation. In the past 50 years, trust in traditional media has plummeted, with all Americans but especially with Republicans. And the demand for conservative media has
exploded. What started off as a few rinky-dink conservative
magazines has become an entire ecosystem of right-wing TV, talk radio, and websites. You can now exist within a comprehensive, closed conservative media ecosystem. Whether it’s having Fox News on all the day
or talk radio on all day, you don’t need to really ever step out of
that bubble, which is something you couldn’t have done
before. Republicans aren’t getting their news from
Cronkite anymore. They’re getting it from Fox. And that’s a huge deal when it comes to the Mueller investigation. Republicans during Watergate were turning on their TV and seeing this: The country tonight is in the midst of what
may be the most serious constitutional crisis in
its history. Now they’re seeing this: Biggest non-story ever being hyped by the
liberal media. Greatest political hoax. Farce and a witch hunt. It’s a sham. It is a house of cards. The American people will put up with a great
deal, but they will not put up with anyone who claims to be above the law. The president says it’s fake news. Do you even care? How can anyone trust the Mueller office? Bunch of Trump-hating, Hillary-loving partisan
hacks. A grave and profound crisis in which the president has set himself against his own attorney general and the Department
of Justice. It’s one giant, huge web of corruption. The FBI has become America’s secret police. The FBI needs a complete cleansing. Mueller is, frankly, a disgrace to the American
justice system. These people need to be taken out in cuffs. That uniting narrative we had during Watergate
— it’s gone. And without it, Republicans in Congress have a strong incentive to turn their backs on the Mueller investigation. They know that the Republican base is tuned
in to conservative media and hearing these messages that the Mueller investigation is a sham, that this is a project of the “deep state”
to bring down the president. Mueller is out to get the president, it appears,
at any cost. And so if a Republican politician breaks with
that, then all of a sudden, it looks like he’s siding
with the enemy. And siding with the enemy could be a political
death sentence. A 2017 study found that watching Fox News had a significant effect on elections, shifting 6 percent of voters toward the Republican presidential candidate
in 2008. In that environment, politicians have to choose
sides. And if you’re a Republican, do you choose to side with the media that all your base listens to, or do you choose to side with the ones they
all oppose? House Republicans have already released a
report attempting to undermine the Mueller investigation. There’s no reason to continue this. We’ve turned up nothing. And some have begun echoing Fox News’s talking
points. Mueller is desperate. He doesn’t have a case he can make. This Mueller investigation is built on a false
premise and rotten to the core, Tucker. Is the integrity of the agency in question
then, now? Of course it is. We know there’s bias; we know there’s a conflict. I agree with you, Sean. They’re trying to manufacture a process crime. This is increasingly becoming scary stuff. Do you agree? Yes, I do agree with that. Of course, we don’t know if Trump will fire
Mueller or if Mueller will actually dig up any dirt
on Trump. But if either of those things do happen, it’ll be up to Republicans in Congress to
do something about it. And right now, Hemmer isn’t confident they
will. It’s very hard to imagine a future in which
all of a sudden they’re going to say, “Oh, wait, we now need
to listen to this independent counsel who most of the conservative media have been undermining and delegitimizing for months
now.” And before you call me dramatic, listen to how actual Fox News hosts are talking about this stuff. Nixon never would have been forced to resign if you existed back in 1972, ’73, ’74. I was literally 11 years old. It’s too bad for Nixon because nobody like
you existed then. Our prime responsibility now is to unshackle the 45th president of the
United States. These investigations might be really similar, but on TV, they could not look more different. And for Republicans in Congress, that might be all that matters. That’s the way it is.


100 thoughts on “The big problem with comparing Trump to Nixon”

  • Fox news isn't just supporting Trump — they're speaking directly to him. Watch the Strikethrough episode on it here:

  • This narrator is hilarious! It occurs to me often that Vox chooses narrators who would definitely rub your average conservative the wrong way (skinny boys, hipster-looking, speaking with vocal fry, sometimes highly flamboyant – presenting in a way that appeals to more to young democratic voters than to, say, an old square stuffy tobacco-chewing fuddyduddy…dare I generalize?). So the viewers most receptive to the Vox minidoc messengers are usually people who already believe the message, to an extent. If Vox had a pseudoconservative sister channel with a bunch of jarheaded beastmen & Kelly Ann Conway lookalikes and republicanesque clickbait titles – while presenting liberal arguments from a seemingly conservative viewpoint – this would be much more useful to everyone, right? Rather than preaching to the choir, we could get the word out to the people most insulated from the facts: Trump's base.

    But that's quite a tangent…all I was initially going to say is that this fellow is one of your most charismatic hosts. Looking forward to seeing more!

  • The people in this comment section need to realize something right now, being bias doesn’t it propaganda, stop calling it that, you are literally lying to yourself, if Fox is propaganda because it’s biased, so is Vice, Vox, Good Morning America, CNN, or literally any other news network on the planet, I counted, in the last month, Vox has reported on tens of stories and made tens of videos about Republicans being these horrible people, these anti science, disgusting, vile humans, yet when Ilhan Omar said 3 anti Semitic sentences in the course of a month, Vox wasn’t at all happy and jumpy to report on that and make a video, this isn’t propaganda, I’m not saying it is, you morons need to realize this, everyone is biased, relax, why don’t you attack any of the news networks I have named for being bias( or propaganda, in your words), well, because you want this, you want it all, it works out for you because when the are being bias and “propagandist” against your opponent, no matter how bad and wrong you are, you secretly love it, so much. Don’t be hypocritical, if you wanna talk about bias being evil, look at the tens of networks on your side that are incredibly biased, before ours

  • "The Unmentionable Uses of a CIA" was written by one of the FOUNDERS of the CIA, Miles Copeland, about the dirty tricks the alphabet agency uses. And you pass it off as a right-wing conspiracy theory. Who is REALLY the partisan conspiracy theorist here?

  • Nixon took us off the gold standard destroying our currency, opened the gates to China to export our labor to slaves overseas.

  • damn, with a proper amount of brainwashing, you can be trained to hate the best president in the best country of all time in the world.

  • I guess that I don't see the problem. Shouldn't various segments of the public be able to have and listen to the news source of their choice? Shouldn't there be absolute freedom for a news organization to report anything they wish?

  • You see when you fail to learn from the past, history tends to repeat itself. When it comes to learning from the past, Americans are the worst at it. Trump is a repeat of Nixon.

  • The problem is that this is the case in both conservative circles and democratic ones.
    Vox – stop the extremism by presenting the faults of both sides. Be honest about both. Because both sides suck big time.

  • I want to PUNCH PIRRO & Hannity! I can’t believe that people believe their LIES & BULLSHIT! So what they mean is that THEY would have LIED & kept NIXON in OFFICE? Just like Trump! They DON’T CARE about ANYONE but themselves!

  • Christopher G. Treadway says:

    One year later:
    We have the Mueller Report. No collusion. No obstruction.
    Yeet, lil boi Trump with the dub!

  • Samuel Cerda says:

    So if this is so serious why hasn’t anything happened yet to Trump? Why isnt he in Jail? If we have dealt with this before (Watergate) why isn’t it Trump in handcuffs yet? As a Catholic conservative i try to be neutral in what news i view or how i receive my information but all of this seems like a hoax.

  • I m french and i ve never seen a tv show where the host just shout his opinion at the viewer like we see in strikethrough… is this a common thing worldwide ?

  • I don't even understand "the politics" i just open an vox video for backround sound and listen to it while I do my homework 😀

  • That’s why BBC in the U.K. is good because it’s not for profit – state owned – at no liberties to appeal to any demographic

  • Ferintosh Farms Photography says:

    Ya if there was no internet you wouldn't have a job and would have to i don't know, learn to code or something

  • Well if conservatives have an echo chamber, than so do leftists (cnn, msnbc, abc, vox). It seems like a polarization problem instead of a conservative one. Especially because cnn is still attacking trump and demanding more investigations after the mueller report dropped which said president Trump had no collusion with the Russians. Which is just crazy, we need more objective journaling and less opinion writers masquerading as such. And that goes for everyone.

  • boss bully boy says:

    Sooo what does Vox want…more "gatekeeping" (restrictions on public information)…as Vox has stated they want.
    This is funny as we now know that Fox was right about this being a Russia hoax

  • iamjohnporter67 says:

    Even after the Muller Report and they find "insufficient" evidence that trump obstructed justice, the democrats ARE still in the mindset of impeaching trump.

  • To me, the problem with comparing Trump to Nixon is Trump didn't do what he was accused of and didn't obstruct (sure he talk about doing things but they never happened). So the real problem is trying to influence people into thinking Trump did something like Nixon when yet he didn't.

  • We also trusted Uncle Walter countless orders of magnitude more than any politician – especially Presidents LBJ and Nixon. Compare with CNN and Trump. Exactly the opposite. Life was indeed better with just 20 minutes of news per day. Otherwise, excellent video summary of significant changes in society at large, mirrored by media. Those who actually adopt views based on corporate, for- profit media, whose existence I doubt, are hopeless. Trump fans who think he is the answer to all the world’s problems, while claiming that ppl who disagree are the indoctrinated ones, are simply projecting. We who think for ourselves learned to do so without any media input and long before the internet. I had only Uncle Walter, at most (in college sans TV during Watergate) but understand how difficult it such independence of thought/belief is to find and maintain for those trying to find their way today amid the craziness.

  • maskedavenger777 says:

    I don't want to go back to 1973 in terms of media. I don't want the internet turned into the equivalent of broadcast news in 1973. We had mainly CIA controlled media in 1973. The left is as free as the right to put their media on the internet. We do not need or want gatekeepers. And Trump is not the same man as Nixon.

  • In the 1970s big American cities had waaaaay more than "a couple of radio stations." Try a dozen, at least. FM radio was pretty well established by 1970. Why are you purporting to be an expert on something that happened almost two decades before you were born?
    And stop waving your hands around so much. People might take you seriously.

  • Yeah but to some extent Fox News has to show the same footage from capitol hill that CNN shows.  like if Mueller testifies the Fox News viewers will still hear that testimony.

  • Looking into the future, i see the russia investigation was a complete hoax, i guess fox news got it right, just like they always do!!!

  • What we did to USSR before is what they are doing to us today. Can we get the FCC to get rid of the fox channel altogether. The channel is owned by foreigners and half of americans use it for news?

  • Well at least now we can look back on videos like this and know that the ACTUAL difference between Nixon and Trump is that after a 22 month-long investigation that cost at least $12M, there was NO EVIDENCE of collusion (or obstruction). Turns out that Fox News wasn't the difference; it was guilty vs not guilty. Wow. Despite how a false accusation can ruin your reputation these days, you'd think that guilty vs not guilty would still matter.

  • Cynical Liberal says:

    Without the support of Conservative Media Nixon was re-elected by a 49 state mandate. Anyone who wants to compare Trump to Nixon should remember that.

  • Fox should be guilty of Collusion for influencing the 2016 Election, for supporting & advising Trump. ???

  • "We cannot learn from each other until we stop shouting at each other "-Richard Nixon (1969), "From now on, it's going to be America 1st, America 1st"-Donald Trump (2017).?

  • I actually agree with this video wholeheartedly, which is not something I usually say about Vox. What they are saying is true for left and right equally, but the point about media bubbles is correct.

  • Winston Huang says:

    5:06 republicans aren't getting their news from Cronkite anymore… but is there even a Cronkite in news media today?

  • 4:51 It should be noted that prior to when Bill Clinton was in office, conservative talk radio wasn't even a thing. Conservative talk radio was heavily opposed to the Clinton administration-I'm pretty sure it came out of the 1994 midterm victory for the Republicans, which then led to Newt Gingrich becoming Speaker of the House and then, of course later, you had Clinton get impeached for lying under oath about his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

  • In the documentary of comparison with the 2 presidents the comments were no allowed, Why , they knew people were not going to agree with what they were saying in fact some one said that the NIXONIAN AS IF NIXON WAS SOME KIND OF DIFFERENT RACE of men or Alien , talk about being ridiculous, is no wonder why we r still on this era and here i thought people were just naive .

  • Brandon Fritz says:

    I was expecting more about Trump vs Nixon not the media during Nixon’s presidency vs the media during Trumps presidency(specifically Fox)

  • Santiago Ramirez says:

    Zzz. Para mi es pero bien importante mirar los ojos a las personas con las que me comunico, y cuando las personas no me caen bien, no las miro y prefiero no hablar con esas personas. Y prefiero ver los programas donde me siento cómoda además no confío las noticias de este canal, todas estas personas me parecen antipáticas. Ya terminaste de hacer el libro que estabas escribiendo? Prefiero no hablar contigo hasta que lo termines, me siento incómoda quitarte el tiempo cuando se que tienes cosas importante por terminar.

  • Martin Zeichner says:

    For every point that can parallel Trump and Nixon there is a point that doesn't. If you want to focus on Fox News as a source of the division, I can say that HL Menken, a newspaper columnist in the nineteen twenties, is credited as saying that "Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."

    Fox News is owned by the conservative Australian businessman Rupert Murdoch who also owns the Wall Street Journal. It would be difficult to get more mainstream than the WSJ. Murdoch isn't worried about US politics. It's enough that it makes money for him and his family.

    Nixon was a Quaker. Trump is ostensibly a a Presbyterian. Nixon resigned in shame for Watergate before he could be impeached. Trump has no shame. Only ego. Nixon was 40 years old when he was elected for his first term. Trump was 70.

    I think that the main difference between Trump and Nixon lies in the fact that Nixon actually accomplished something during his presidency. He opened up diplomatic relations with China by meeting with Mao. Trump has accomplished nothing except to undo the progress made by others. All the while, gladly taking credit for the work of others. I think that Nixon was actually a better human being and president than Trump.

    I say this as a baby boomer who didn't vote for Nixon.

  • So he is saying when almost all media was left leaning everything was better, but now that right leaning media is more mainstream, its bad. I thought VOX was about equal representation for everyone??

  • The Nixon impeachment was the driving force behind the conception of Fox News. To think just how different the world would be if Roger Ailes got a cut on his leg while playing in the woods as a kid. (he was a hemopheliac)

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