Marc Andreessen: Watergate coverage helped bring about ‘collapse in trust of print news’

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward during a period of brighter employment outlook. (AP Photo)

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. (AP Photo)

On Sunday, Marc Andreessen talked about press coverage of Watergate on his rollicking Twitter feed. Andreessen is a partner in the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, which has invested $50 million in BuzzFeed.


Correction: Due to an editing error, this post’s headline originally misspelled Marc Andreessen’s last name.

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  • Outrider

    Eight- and nine-part tweets must be the cool way to impart wisdom. Otherwise, why would Marc Andreessen and Nate Silver do it? Anybody for 10?

  • Ted Diadiun

    Hank, that was exactly his point: Post W/B, 40,000 kids enrolled in j-schools, all wanting to expose corruption and save the world. Despite the fact that some did laudable work, a lot of it was irresponsible, and all that caterwauling and the universal irreverent, cynical approach to what were once beloved American institutions resulted in cyincal public, and a growing anger and distrust from large segments of the population.

  • Hank Plante

    Always amusing when rich people who have made a lot of money at one thing believe because of that they’re smart about everything else. In the year after Watergate,40,000 kids enrolled in journalism schools. Doesn’t sound like a failure of news media trust to me.

  • Lisa Loving

    Sir or m’am, I believe the point is that this person is a billionaire shaping the current media reality.

  • CPO_C_Ryback


    What makes Mr. A an expert on media? History? Politics?

    A: nothing. Just like Michael Moore and his ilk — a loud mouth with very little experience.

    Silly, ridiculous, absurd, inane, and a time-waster.

  • JTFloore

    there is good reason why none of mr. andreessen’s friends believe as he does. and that is because his conclusion about woodward/bernstein is narrowly simplistic at beast. yes, starting in at least the 1960s, the media became more aggressive, as far as we remember. a lot of bad news was reported: jfk’s assassination and troubling questions about whether the official version was totally true; govt lies about Vietnam; the chaos of the civil rights era and the startling revelation that the united states fell far short of the pronouncements of the declaration of independence; various assassinations etc.

    all the while the media was becoming more ubiquitous in our lives, evolving into multiple institutions that report every event — from the momentous to the trivial — more thoroughly and more quickly, until now when the reporting of everything seems to be an unending, instantaneous avalanche of information, much of it bad. no longer is there any breathing room between the reporting of cataclysmic events. of course, it is disheartening to be reminded repeatedly of the dark side of human nature.

  • Jim Davis

    A tangential point at best. It wasn’t Watergate coverage perse — after all, Woodward and Bernstein were right about Nixon and his gang — but the ensuing scandal-driven coverage of many topics. Andreessen recognizes that, yet he still somehow lays it all at Watergate’s feet.

    Nor does the linked Gallup material prove Andreessen’s assertion of a “long, slow slide of trust” in news media. It shows a lack of trust as of December 2013, but it doesn’t establish a slide over the years. The most it proves is that we distrust a lot of people, from bankers to

    I would place the slide in trust further back, to the mid-1960s, when Marshall McLuhen advised us to scrutinize how coverage was done, not just at the object of the coverage. I would also add “The View from Sunset Boulevard” by Ben Stein in 1979 and the “Media Elites” study from 1980. Those publications focused and crystalized public distrust of mainstream media.