Woodward and Bernstein: Lighting the Fire

In class last Tuesday we watched a scene from the documentary ‘Woodward and Bernstein: Lighting the Fire’ which covers the story of two reporters in their pursuit to uncover the truth behind Watergate. The documentary interviews many famous journalists and asks them through various questions if this event (Watergate) were to be discovered today by journalists, would they be as successful as Woodward and Bernstein? It took a while for the documentary to grasp my attention, but mid-way through it finally did. When all the journalists being interviewed started to answer about whether or not this event could happen today. The media has changed drastically since ‘70s and most of the journalists agreed on the idea that Watergate probably would not have been exposed today. If Woodward and Bernstein attempted to uncover what they did years ago, they would have been subpoenaed. A lot of events would have happened differently because after Woodward and Bernstein were subpoenaed, they would be force to tell the government who “deep throat” was and history would be a whole lot different. Nowadays, journalists are somewhat celebrities and are placed on a pedestal for others to gaze upon and look up to. Woodward and Bernstein would definitely not be able to uncover Watergate because the media would be on their every move. Woodward and Bernstein are seen as celebrities now, but if they were viewed as celebrities back in the ‘70s, then their pursuit would be a lot more difficult. I also found it interesting how the journalists being interviewed in the documentary compared themselves to Superman. Clark Kent is Superman and he in fact is a journalist as well. They began to say how Clark Kent fights for truth and justice physically as well as textually. Either way, Clark Kent (Superman) is trying to uncover the truth behind everything, and that is what journalists try to do as well. One last thing that I like about this documentary that stood out to me, was one of the journalists being interviewed, Linda Ellerbee. When I was young, I use to watch Linda Ellerbee on Nickelodeon because of her show ‘Nick News with Linda Ellerbee’. It was nice to see a familiar face. A blast from the past.

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