The Press: Return of Muckraking

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For the Rebozo-Smathers series, Greene and his team worked for six months, of which 21 were spent in Florida. They conducted 400 interviews and examined 20,000 documents. "It was not glamorous work," says Greene. "Most of it was dismal slogging—sitting down, hand-copying every land transaction and analyzing it." Rebozo and Smathers declined to be interviewed, and the White House refused to answer questions. The team even had trouble getting access to public records; the Florida State Division of Banking, said Greene, agreed to provide them with bank records until it learned that the bank involved was Rebozo's. They were never able to find out how much Government money was spent on Nixon's Key Biscayne houses. Nonetheless, they produced a thorough report on the freewheeling world of Florida real estate that is not sensational but reveals 1,001 questionable little doings. "We're not looking for criminals," says Perfall, adding dryly, "we are trying to produce a detailed, factual account to tell people how their Government really works."

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