Activity: Confirming the Nixon Witch-Hunt Headline

A fun one for today. President Trump made a comment about a witch-hunt, and then this showed up in my Twitter feed. So, is this a real headline or a fake?


“Nixon Sees ‘Witch-Hunt’ Insiders Say” by Woodward and Bernstein.

Did this article really run, with this headline? If so, how did you verify it? If not, how did you debunk it?

(This one makes me think we should have a chapter in the book’s field guide about finding old newspaper articles. )

As always, leave your answer in the comments, along with how you got there. For this particular case, if the headline is not fake, write the first line of the newspaper story as proof you found it.

7 thoughts on “Activity: Confirming the Nixon Witch-Hunt Headline

  1. The byline was a red herring. The article exists with that headline, but not in the WaPo. Instead it was published in the Los Angeles Times. I searched google for “Nixon sees witch-hunt” and found a reference to the LA Times. I followed the link to a paywall. Boo. Being a resourceful librarian I remembered that my institution has access to the historical files. A quick search there have me the article. First sentence:

    President Nixon and his top aides believe that the Senate Watergate hearings are unsure and constitute a “political witch hunt” according to White House sources.

    • Awesome! Yeah, the WaPo thing is distracting until you realize that the Washington Post doesn’t need to identify articles as from the Washington Post.

      For those without historical files, you can use and get the (imperfect) OCR text for free (page image requires subscription). But if you have librarian superpower, you should absolutely use them!

  2. Perhaps I am doing something wrong, but I cannot find an article with that headline – I can find an article in the Washington Post for Saturday July 21st running on A1-2 by Woodward and Bernstein that had the headline “Nixon, Aides Believe Hearing Is Witchhunt” and had the same opening line as the one being quoted by Vox here –

    I found that article here in the archive –

    Was that headline was used by other papers though –

    Am I close?

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