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The Washington Post played a key role in informing the public on Watergate the most infamous of our nations scandals Despite backlash from people in high places the Post would not concede defeat Two reporters in particular stood out for their excellence in investigative journalism Bob Woodward along with his colleague Carl Bernstein began an investigation into the burglary of the Democratic Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel Bob Woodward a Yale Alumnus grew up in conventional Wheaton Illinois After graduation he served on an aircraft carrier and eventually worked in communications at the Pentagon In 1970 Woodward started working as a reporter for the Montgomery County Sentinel in Maryland he was hired by the Washington Post the following year Carl Bernstein grew up in the Washington DC area His career in journalism began modestly as a copyboy for the Washington Star after high school During the 1960s Bernstein climbed the corporate ladder up to being reporter beginning work for the Washington Post in 1966 In 1971 the Pentagon Papers were published and released to the public These were secret Defense Department documents on American involvement in the Vietnam War They were leaked to the New York Times by Dr Daniel Ellsberg an official in the Defense Department Nixon challenged the publication of the documents in the Supreme Court but lost when the court ruled 6-3 in favor of publication The damning documents first ran in the New York Times then in the Washington Post In the same year a secret and illegal White House Special Investigations Unit was established known as the Plumbers This covert unit was named for their instructions from the president to plug leaks in the administration One infamous order of business was the raiding of the psychiatrists office to find files on Daniel Ellsberg the former defense analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers The Posts executive editor Ben Bradlee assigned Woodward to the story involving the break-in of the Democratic Party
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