Going after Dan Schorr

Going after Dan Schorr

The FBI wasn't as subtle as President Nixon would have liked

Daniel Schorr of CBS News found out that he was on Richard Nixon’s enemies list in the most unusual way. He was covering the Senate Watergate hearings in 1973 when former White House counsel John W. Dean testified about the administration’s use of the powers of the federal government against its chosen enemies. As Schorr recalled the scene, he was on the air when he was handed a copy of the enemies list and began reading the names on it into the camera. The 17th name on the list was his. He said he nearly collapsed on the air, but managed to finish reading the list. In this conversation, President Nixon and White House Chief of Staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman discuss efforts to “go after” Schorr, including their use of the FBI in an attempt to dredge up damaging information on the journalist. When that effort came to light, the White House falsely claimed it was a background check undertaken because Schorr was being considered for a job.

Date: Saturday, September 18, 1971
Time: 10:05 a.m.–10:40 a.m.
Participants: Richard M. Nixon, H. R. "Bob" Haldeman
Location: Oval Office
Tape: 576-005A