When President Donald Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey, critics and pundits immediately called the move “Nixonian,” suggesting that Trump had ousted Comey to prevent further inquiries into alleged ties with Russia.
The Nixon Library quickly shot back, saying that was not the case at all:
Veteran reporter Tom Brokaw, who actually covered the Watergate scandal, agreed with the Nixon Library.
During an MSNBC appearance, Brokaw noted some of the main differences between coverage of Nixon and coverage of President Trump:
"One of the things that I learned during Watergate ... is that we dealt with it every day on a factual basis. There was not a lot of speculation. Now, of course, the media landscape has changed a lot, and we have that going on 24/7.
I do think, however, that all of us as reporters have to take a deep breath and say let's deal with the facts as we know them at this point."
Despite those differences, Brokaw said journalists do have their work cut out for them in regard to the Comey situation — especially considering the number of people who were against Comey before they were for him:
"There are a lot of elements here that desperately need more explanation, more investigation.
I haven't run into anybody yet who thinks that Jim Comey was doing a good job as the FBI director, beginning last summer.
And then, as you'll remember, Hillary Clinton and others in the Democratic Party all but blamed him for her loss. Now they're defending him as the champion."
For Brokaw, it all came down to one simple thing: “Our obligation I think is to sort it out, truth from fact, and deal with the truth.”