ERIC Number: ED112443
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Dec
Reference Count: 0
The Watergate Cover-Up: Its Dynamics and Its Implications.
Gouran, Dennis S.
This essay explores the group dynamics relating to the events surrounding the Watergate coverup and attempts to identify the factors that predispose of the parties involved to make inappropriate, foolish, and ineffective choices concerning a criminal case in which none of them initially was culpable. The initial Watergate breakin is briefly outlined, and the details of the Watergate coverup are described extensively through the use of manuscripts from the Watergate hearings and books written by such eminent political commentators as Theodore H. White, Arthur Schlesinger, and Dan Rather. Four points of view are then offered to account for the behavior patterns and decision-making procedures of the individuals involved in the Watergate coverup. Each of these views is dismissed as only a partial explanation for the coverup because President Nixon could still have made the right decision to avoid culpability. In conclusion, the author argues that to understand why Nixon did not, one has to focus on the communication behavior of the group involved as that behavior reflects the forces that inhibited their ability to make not only what would have been "the easy" decision but the right one as well. (RB)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (61st, Houston, Texas , December 26-30, 1975)