Even to this day, the thought that a president could put the FBI on the trail of a journalist because he didn't like the reporting sends shivers up the spines of rational people.
That shiver today comes from fbi.gov, which today released the Nixon-ordered probe into journalist Daniel Schorr. The White House justified the use of the FBI by contending it was considering an appointment for Schorr. That, of course, was a lie.
The documents released today contend the FBI dropped the investigation as soon as it realized what was going on. But, even so, many of the names were removed from the documents. We may never know for sure everyone who was involved in the use of a government agency to harass a legitimate reporter:
Mark Memmott, at NPR's Two Way Blog, says the investigation found out that Schorr was a hell of a reporter.
Why the shock?
This was standard practice for every president before Nixon? Why did the press suddenly get indignant when Nixon did it?
Hey, I got another shock for you. Kennedy cheated on his wife while in the White House.
As for Schorr, the guy was tool of the left, not a reporter.
To put the tiff between Nixon and Schorr in the context of the times, in 1942 Eleanor Roosevelt requested the FBI to investigate conservative columnist Westbrook Pegler for "sedition" after he published a string of articles critical of her.
Her husband, Franklin routinely ordered FBI wartime sedition investigations of anti-New Deal newspaper publishers, such as William Randolph Hearst and the Chicago Tribune's Robert McCormick.
I also think it is important to include a comment in the last paragraph of this blog citing the fact that Schorr was an employee of NPR.