Study Guide

All the President's Men Setting

Setting

Washington D.C., June 1, 1972 – January 20, 1973

Up until November 17, 1973, Richard Nixon was known for being that guy who talked about his dog Checkers and the guy who sweated too much on TV. And—oh, yeah—he was also known for being the President of the United States.

But after Nixon uttered his famous "I am not a crook" following the break-in of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate Hotel, and its subsequent cover-up, he was known as, well, a crook.

Washington D.C. is hot and sticky for most of the year, but it was exceptionally hot and sticky in 1972 and 1973, when what seemed to be a simple break-in quickly escalated into one of the biggest political scandals of all time, ending with Nixon becoming the first U.S. president to resign from his position.

Most of All the President's Men takes place inside the offices of the Washington Post. At the time, it was staffed by celebrated journalists like Ben Bradlee. The film shows us the tense atmosphere in the newsroom, where deadlines are always ten minutes away and the incessant sound of typing fills the air. (How did no one tear their hair out listening to the clacking of typewriter keys all day?)

All the President's Men is more about the politics of a national newspaper newsroom than it is about the government. Executives bicker about what stories should be on the front page. Editors try to pull stories from young reporters and give them to more experienced writers. And reporters scramble for sources. It should be boring, but All the President's Men makes it totally dynamic and interesting.

The Post is now owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, so stay tuned for a remake in which Woodward and Bernstein are portrayed by robots. All the President's Drones. (Source)