Media affect the way that each of us perceives the world and the events that occur all around us. Film greatly influences the way people view and understand how important historical events occurred, such as Saving Private Ryan and Pearl Harbor portraying aspects of World War II. In the case of All the President’s Men, the investigative journalism concerning the Watergate scandal (1972-1974) was portrayed on the big screen with great accuracy, but may leave viewers incompletely informed concerning the true events that transpired.
We found that the events included within the film were portrayed with astonishing accuracy. Great detail went into the replication of The Washington Post, accurate portrayal of characters’ personalities, and chronological order of historical events. The film fell short however, in providing viewers with the full spectrum of information needed to have a well-rounded understanding of the infamous government conspiracy. The film frames the journalistic investigation conducted by Woodward and Bernstein, but fails to show the full story. Some things that were omitted from the film that, if included, would provide important insight to the historical events were: affairs within President Nixon’s administration, other less noteworthy media covering the story at the same time, and omission of several important characters to efficiently capture the story within the time restraint of a feature-length film.
Throughout the extent of this project, the Truth Sleuths have found the importance in viewing historical films with a critical eye, rather than blindly accepting what is portrayed. If we had relied entirely on All the President’s Men to gain factual knowledge of the historical events that occurred, we would be left with a good understanding of what happened within The Washington Post during the first seven months of the investigation. However, without further research viewers would be left with limited information on the full picture.
This course has taught us to critically view all media, including news, print, radio, and film. We have learned the importance of fully researching the truth rather than accepting truthiness alone.