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‘Everyone is involved’: Watergate in our popular culture

Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jason Robards, Jack Warden, and Martin Balsam in Alan J. Pakula’s ‘All the President’s Men.’
Wildwood Enterprises
Warner Bros.
Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jason Robards, Jack Warden, and Martin Balsam in Alan J. Pakula’s ‘All the President’s Men.’

The botched Watergate break-in happened 51 years ago today, on June 17, 1972.

Over the decades since, the whole Watergate story has been processed through our popular culture over and over again, from Alan J. Pakula’s classic movie of All the President’s Men through HBO’s recent limited series White House Plumbers.

This hour, a look at both of those versions, plus we talk to writer Thomas Mallon about adapting the story as a novel and the late actor Hal Holbrook about playing Deep Throat.


  • Jim Chapdelaine: An Emmy-winning musician and a patient advocate for people with rare cancers
  • Ann Hornaday: Chief film critic for The Washington Post and the author of Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies
  • Hal Holbrook: Was a film, television, and stage actor
  • Thomas Mallon: A critic and the author of many novels, including Watergate: A Novel
  • Irene Papoulis: Teaches writing at Trinity College

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Colin McEnroe, Anya Grondalski, Sam Hadelman, Betsy Kaplan, Cat Pastor, Catie Talarski, Lily Tyson, and Chion Wolf contributed to this show, parts of which originally aired August 6, 2014; February 4, 2015; June 15, 2022; and June 2, 2023, in a different form.

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Jonathan is a producer for ‘The Colin McEnroe Show.’ His work has been heard nationally on NPR and locally on Connecticut Public’s talk shows and news magazines. He’s as likely to host a podcast on minor league baseball as he is to cover a presidential debate almost by accident. Jonathan can be reached at jmcnicol@ctpublic.org.
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