THE PRESIDENCY: A Savage Game of 20 Questions

"It will be like throwing red meat into the lions' cage," a Washington correspondent predicted, imagining the mood of President Nixon's then still-to-be-scheduled first press conference since Watergate blew up into a major scandal. When the President finally summoned reporters to a confrontation at San Clemente last week—after deciding, out of some mysterious love of surprises, to give scarcely an hour's notice—they were ready to pounce. The result was the most grueling public interrogation of a President in memory.

Hardly had the newsmen scrambled to the Western White House compound when...

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