On Monday, Jan. 14, legendary Washington Post reporter Bob Woodwardwill meet Elder D. Todd Christofferson, a law clerk for Judge John J. Sirica who was among the first to listen to President Richard Nixon’s White House tapes, to engage in a discussion on honesty and trust in public life. Hosted by the Deseret News and held at the Newseum, “Integrity & Trust: Lessons from Watergate and Today” will highlight the lessons Woodward and Christofferson took away from their Watergate experiences, how those lessons have shaped their lives and how those lessons apply today. To provide further context, Michael Dimock, president of the Pew Research Center, will present findings from recent polling on trust in individuals, elected officials and institutions.
As a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, Bob Woodward is known for relentlessly pursuing the truth. Inspired by Judge Damon J. Keith’s statement that “Democracy dies in the dark,” Woodward often uses that idea in reference to the Nixon years. (The Washington Post began using the phrase “Democracy dies in darkness” as its slogan in 2017.) Woodward is an associate editor of the Post and author of 18 nonfiction books, including 13 that topped best-seller lists.
Along with Judge Sirica, Elder Christofferson was one of the first to hear the tape recordings that implicated President Nixon in covering up the break-in of the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate complex. Last year, Elder Christofferson told an audience at Oxford that many media commentators at the time talked about Nixon as if he were pure evil. “But such a critique is too easy, as if only those who are inherently bad make serious mistakes, not us ‘normal people.’…To me, this is a false view of Watergate and draws the wrong lessons.”
Christofferson left a distinguished legal career in 1993 to become a general authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he now serves as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, providing spiritual guidance to millions of believers around the world.
As President of the Pew Research Center, Michael Dimock works to ensure that one of the nation’s most trusted research institutions maintains the high standard of credibility that has made it such a frequently cited resource for commentators on both sides of today’s most vital issues.
Integrity and Trust:
Lessons from Watergate and Today
Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, 6:30-8:00pm
Newseum, Washington, D.C.
Media: Please RSVP by contacting Kylie Neslen: email@example.com