For whatever reason, Bob Woodward choked. Bob Woodward should have released the tapes immediately after the rally where Trump told his followers that Covid-19 was a hoax. He didn’t. Why didn’t he? Even if Woodward believed that Trump was right about avoiding panic, there were plenty of opportunities for Woodward to come forward. This is September and 190,000 people are dead.
This Covid-19 scandal is much bigger than Watergate. Everything about the Trump Administration is bigger than Watergate. Nixon used his office to try and block an investigation into his Administration’s involvement in a burglary at the DNC headquarters. It turned out that Nixon actually conspired to obtain photographs of the Democrat campaign documents and to bug their phones. Once he was caught, he had his Attorney General protect him from investigation.
When Congress drew up Articles of Impeachment that included the crimes of “obstruction of justice”, “abuse of power”, and “contempt of Congress”, Nixon had the decency to just resign.
Since Bob Woodward was the investigative reporter who discovered Nixon’s crimes and likely knows more about Watergate than anyone else on the planet, you would think that he would have an understanding of the type of President that he was dealing with. If only Woodward had treated Trump’s attitude toward Covid-19 in the same way that he pursued the Watergate scandal, he would have been a hero.
Real people have died while numerous individuals sat on this information. It wasn’t just Trump and Woodward that knew. Trump only knows what other people tell him. EVERYONE on that White House Coronavirus taskforce knew. All the intelligence agencies knew. Lindsey Graham knew. All of Woodward’s staff knew. The whole world knew. Other governments were acting appropriately.
Instead of following the lead of other nations and state governments, Trump mocked them for physical distancing and wearing masks. Instead of following the manual for dealing with pandemics, Trump set himself up to receive glory for his terrible decision making. Woodward had the tools to put a stop to that.
In his defense, Woodward claims that he could not be sure if Trump were telling the truth about Covid-19. Everyone is aware that Trump has a lying problem.
“The biggest problem I had, which is always a problem with Trump, is I didn’t know if it was true”.
“My job is to understand it, and to hold him accountable, and to hold myself accountable,” said Woodward, explaining that it took months to contextualize everything with reporting. “I did the best I could.”The Guardian
Woodward is now claiming that his goal was to get the information out before November. It was before the election that was his most important goalpost. Was it? Seriously, was it? The only person with the proof that Trump was lying to his followers was Bob Woodward. If only he had come forward, lives might have been saved.
Granted, Bob Woodward is now 77 years old and he was a much younger man when he took on Nixon. Just the same, if Woodward had made the issues known in a timely manner, there would be no shortage of eager investigative reporters that were willing to pitch in. The world might be a very different place right now.
So, when Woodward claims that he did the best he could, he didn’t really. He could have shared information with trusted colleagues who had the ability to fact check his findings and dig deeper. Not only would involving more people have lent more credibility to Woodward’s new book, but he would have ended his career as a patriot and hero. Woodward’s legacy would have been as bulwark against tyranny.
Now, the guy who brought down Nixon will forever be the guy that waffled on Trump.