The idea, prominant among American conservatives, that the media is dangerously liberal and biased against them, has become common in recent years — particularly in the blogosphere — but it stems at least from the era of Richard Nixon.

The revelation of Deep Throat’s identity has brought some of these issues back to national attention, and the Los Angeles Times has an article about how the attitudes of some of the members of the Bush administration towards the media were shaped by their experiences under Nixon:

Today, an arm’s-length relationship with the press, a highly controlled message and a restrictive interpretation of public records laws are the norm at the Bush White House.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, a Nixon aide who also served as chief of staff to Ford, tried to stop Congress’ post-Watergate broadening of the Freedom of Information Act. The act requires the government to disclose certain records to citizens.

Working with Cheney, Rumsfeld persuaded Ford to veto the legislation, according to declassified documents obtained last year by the National Security Archive at Georgetown University. Congress overrode Ford’s veto.