When silence isn’t silence: what is really on the 18.5 minute gap in the Watergate tapes

Richard Nixon with Elvis Presley in the Oval Office

This photograph is not from the time of the key Watergate tape.

One of the signature moments of the Watergate scandal was the discovery of an 18.5-minute gap on a White House recording of a meeting between President Richard Nixon (he of a surprisingly good policy idea) and a key aide.

I had always thought this gap was just made up of silence. But now I know better.

Those 18.5 minutes of blank tape are not really blank, as explained by Sophie Scott in a fascinating edition of the Boring Talks podcast.

You can listen to it online here.


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