Mr. Anderson was a flamboyant bridge between the muckrakers of the early decades of the 20th century and the battalions of investigative reporters unleashed by news organizations after Watergate. He relished being called "the Paul Revere of journalism" for his knack for uncovering major stories first almost as much as he enjoyed being at the top of President Richard M. Nixon's enemies list. [...]It was Hoover who described Anderson as "lower than the regurgitated filth of vultures," but it was Nixon who loathed the journalist the most. Anderson rose to national prominence (at his peak his column reached 45 million readers) by breaking scandal after scandal about Nixon, stretching from the 1950s all the way up to Watergate. His stories were so damaging that in 1972 two of the Watergate burglars-to-be were told to assassinate him, most likely at the behest of Nixon.
Mr. Anderson's decidedly roguish techniques included eavesdropping, spiriting off classified documents, rifling through garbage ([FBI chief J. Edgar] Hoover's, in particular) and sometimes blatant threats - methods he defended as justified in his lifetime campaign to keep government honest.
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