Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
We, the liberal artsy equivalents of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, were very surprised by the response to our first article, in which we ranted about how the Washington Post sucks balls. Of course we thought we’d ruffle some feathers, but we were surprised by all of the suggestions for topics that we could tackle, such as the possibility that JFK cheated on his wife (no way), that Martin Luther King was an alien (now we’re onto something), or that 9/11 was an inside job (it is 1972 and we have no idea what this means). We are excited to hear these ideas, because they are a testament to the fact that there are legitimate issues to investigate in Washington. Yes, we are saying that these are worthwhile topics simply because we received them in fan mail, without making any effort to actually investigate any of them and prove their worthiness.
But we have meatier issues to tackle in this news report. A fruitful topic with a little more political bite that will prove how awesome and hard-hitting-investigative-journalist-y we really are. That topic is snack time.
On June 17 we broke into the Watergate Hotel in the middle of the night to dig up some prime, Grade-A dirt on the truth behind the Oval Office Snack Time. Thankfully, it was easy to get in because someone had already taped down the locks. It seemed kind of suspicious and we thought about reporting it to somebody but, whatevs.
When we dug through the White House expense reports, we skipped past all that boring stuff about funding for wiretapping equipment, burglar fees and “hush money,” and moved right onto the food service expenditures. We saw the usual sugar coating; initial reports said that the snacks, such as Dunkaroos, Hi-Hos and Oreos, were distributed evenly. But, like a fine swiss cheese, this story was full of holes, and we would not leave it provolone.
Further super-hard-hitting investigation revealed shocking truths about presidential snack time, the period between 1:00pm and 3:00pm when President Nixon and his aides share a light snack, chat about who in the Oval Office has cooties, and take a 45 minute nap sprawled out along the Oval Office carpet. The expense reports pointed to an unsavory trend: an alarming amount of snack funds were spent on cottage cheese and ketchup, President Nixon’s favorite snack. Seemingly no thought was put into how inequitable this was, to force the other aides to partake of this snack that only Nixon favored. Did anyone care that Halderman liked waffles with lingonberries, that Erlichman was partial to strawberry Fruit by the Foot, or that Dean had a constant craving for tuna sashimi? This story was getting a little bit fishy.
The slow burn was starting to build into a fiery roast that could blow the top right off of this crockpot of intrigue. Then we found them: the Watergate tapes. We fast forwarded through all that random gobbledygook about cover-ups and payoffs and national security criminal conspiracy whatnot-whos-its. But then we heard it: irrefutable evidence that, as a matter of fact, all of Nixon’s aides were given regular old Oreos whereas Nixon, that conniving bastard, was given Double Stuf Oreos. That means that the President was literally given double the stuf. If that’s not a scandal, I don’t know what is. This proves beyond any reasonable doubt that, unlike a mushroom, our President is not of high morel character. Like a pot of alphabet soup left unattended over an open fire, this can only spell disaster.
To finish off our investigation, we met with an anonymous informant who only goes by the name of “Deep Throat.” Unfortunately, he was completely unresponsive to our inquiries about snack time, instead rambling on about international conspiracy this and massive political scandal that. We would have listened to Deep Throat’s rambling, but we found his codename misogynistic and highly problematic, so we would hear from him no more.
But it doesn’t matter. The damage is done. President Nixon has been caught orange-handed. That’s right, he double-dipped his fingers into those Dangerously Cheesy Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and now he’s bound to get burned.
And that’s how you do journalism, Washington. Now it’s your turn!