That Kurtz chose to describe his research as if he saw a need to skulk about and disguise who he was baffled me. Especially since he was speaking to Hewitt, who once served as director of the private Nixon library. Hewitt stated in 1990 that he would bar Bob Woodward from doing research at the Nixon library (then controlled by the Nixon foundation) “because he is an irresponsible journalist.” John Taylor, who succeeded Hewitt as director, announced in 1990 while Hewitt still was in charge that Nixon didn’t want that and researchers would be admitted “without regard to their opinions on any subject.” Why Kurtz presented himself to Hewitt, of all people, as someone who might be interfered with in his research due to his ideology or goals comes across to me as comical as well as mind boggling.When writing about this incident a week ago, I'd forgotten that as Nixon's chief of staff I'd publicly repudiated Hewitt's Woodward ban. Thinking back, I'm pretty sure that I warned Hewitt about it and that he said he understood why we needed to climb down.
After all that, so as far as I know Woodward's never done research at either the private or public Nixon library. He and I did have an exchange of e-mails in January 2007, when he was trying to confirm a claim by one of his and Carl Bernstein's sources many years ago that former Nixon campaign manager John Mitchell had briefed President Nixon about the roots of Watergate over dinner on June 19, 1972, just two days after the break-in. He asked me to consult the White House daily diary, which disclosed that Nixon actually had dinner in Key Biscayne with buddy Bebe Rebozo that night before flying back to Washington. I never did find out what Woodward was working on.