It appears from what I've read so far that the only reason Nixon was brought down was the perserverence of the reporters. The story had no impact whatsoever on the voting populace when he was up for reelection. In fact, the whole thing could easily have been swept under the rug if 3 people hadn't been courageous enough to talk to the press.
It seems to me that there's a fatal flaw in the current system of our government - the Executive branch controls the Justice Department. It's just not possible to have an independant investigation into political corruption when those doing the investigating report to those who are being investigated. It's hard enough to rat out your boss when he's breaking the law that corporations have set up "anonymous" tip lines, how much harder must it be if your boss were the President?
I can't help but watch the same sort of thing unfolding in our current administration. There have been illegal wiretaps (hellooooo, Nixon?), the outing of a CIA officer - and those are the crimes we know of. There hasn't been any accountability to date and I doubt that there will be any. We just don't have a Woodward and Berstein in this age. There is no one to follow these cases to the truth and push such a weak Democratic Senate to take action and investigate these crimes.
If the press is so weak that they can't get to the truth of these admitted abuses of power, I worry for the future. How far will the "moral majority" push this country before the true majority of moderates gets tired of being oppressed?