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What if the Watergate scandal happened today? Would the press just tweet it?

Images-2On the stage: the Washington Post's legendary reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.  In the audience: their editor, Ben Bradlee (still charismatic at 90); Post chairman Donald Graham; current Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli.

 There was some serious journalistic star power -- and some heavy-duty nostalgia -- in a Washington, D.C. hotel convention room this afternoon, where scores of middle-aged editors gathered to gawk at the iconic figures who inspired them to go into journalism.

 The session (part of the American Society of News Editors convention) was called Watergate 4.0, and the idea was to look back, nearly 40 years later, on the scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon, and to ask what would happen if it happened today.

Here's a lighthearted report from Post Style writer Dan Zak (Buffalo boy, Canisius High graduate and former Buffalo News intern). 

And here are two of my favorite quotes from a highly entertaining session:

Bernstein on why he more or less assigned himself to investigating the break-in at the Watergate: "It seemed like a more interesting story than the one I was working on."

Woodward on the semi-facetious suggestion of how the Watergate story would be reported on Twitter, one fact at a time: "If we had gone to Bradlee and said we had one fact, he would have said get the (expletive deleted) out of my office."

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(The photo below of Woodward, left, and Bernstein is from just before Tuesday's "Watergate 4.0" panel; the photo above of Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee was taken in the Post newsroom about 40 years earlier.)

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