The discovery is all the more amazing for its timing. The 18 1/2-minute gap in one of President Nixon’s White House tapes, which has been a source of fascination for presidential scholars and Watergate conspiracy buffs for decades (especially among those skeptical of the controversial “Rose Mary Stretch,” which supposedly accounted for the erasure), has been recaptured thanks to recent advances in the field of forensic audio technology. Working with a team of acoustic experts, presidential scholar Charles Faux-Pas Bidet, Professor of History at Staten Island’s Dyke College and author of Clinton: Statesman or Swinger?, confirmed his findings earlier today. He told Bud Fox News‘ Silence Bellows:
Given what’s happening in the NFL this week, this discovery is such a chilling coincidence that I almost fainted. The date is June 20, 1972, three days after the Watergate break-in. The recaptured audio tapes reveal a jovial President Nixon and his chief of staff H.R. Haldeman chatting with a young Bill Belichick, who was at the White House on a tour. Nixon, an avid football fan, had apparently learned that one of the White House visitors was a college football player and had him pulled out of the group to speak with him.
It’s what they talked about that makes this story downright eerie. According to Professor Faux-Pas Bidet:
Nixon was such a football fan that he kept a ball on his desk in the old Executive Office Building. So after exchanging pleasantries with this young visitor, Nixon picked it up and said, “C’mon, let’s have a quick toss right here in the office.” When Belichick caught Nixon’s first throw, Belichick must have noticed something about the ball because you can hear Nixon say, “Yes, I know, it’s a bit low on air. But here’s a little secret for you: It’s a lot easier to grip and throw when it’s a little soft. You might whisper that in your quarterback’s ear, not that I’m telling you to break the rules, of course.”
17 months later… on November 17, 1973, one month after the Saturday Night Massacre, at a press conference with the Associated Press’s managing editors, Nixon told the group: “…I welcome this kind of examination, because people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I am not a crook.” Fast forward 41 years to yesterday when Belichick, looking about as human as a tight-lipped ventriloquist dummy, met with a roomful of sports journalists to discuss the “Deflategate” scandal. “I had no knowledge whatsoever of this situation until Monday morning,” he said
Apparently the art of ball deflation isn’t the only thing that young Belichick learned from our 37th President. He also learned the art of the stonewall…Nixon: “I don’t give a shit what happens. I want you all to stonewall it...”