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Chatter: Misremembering Watergate and Jan. 6 with Tim Naftali

Chatter, a podcast from Lawfare, features weekly long-form conversations with fascinating people at the creative edges of national security.This week on Chatter, Shane Harris talked with historian Tim Naftali about the legacy of Watergate and how we tell stories, fifty years later, about America’s most notorious presidential scandal. What is it about Watergate that still captures our attention? What do historians, journalists, and citizens misremember about the events? And how does the scandal shape our understanding of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol?

Naftali was the first federal director of the Richard Nixon library and earned accolades from historians—and criticism from Nixon loyalists—for his efforts to truthfully tell the story of Watergate in the Nixon museum. Naftali has written about intelligence, counterterrorism, national security, and the American presidency in the modern era. He is currently a professor at New York University.

Chatter is a production of Lawfare and Goat Rodeo. This episode was produced and edited by Cara Shillenn of Goat Rodeo. Podcast theme by David Priess, featuring music created using Groovepad. Learn more and subscribe to Chatter.

Among the works discussed in this episode:

  • Naftali’s recent article in The Atlantic about a controversial proposal from the National Archives on presidential libraries
  • Naftali on Twitter
  • Naftali’s book on the secret history of U.S. counterterrorism, “Blind Spot

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