Article: 19820701101

Title: Watergate, Inc.: An Anniversary Audit

19820701101
00049054
200050_19820701_049054.xml
Watergate, Inc.: An Anniversary Audit
0032-1478
Playboy
HMH Publishing Co., Inc.
Obituary
151
151,222,224,226
article
Who says crime doesn't pay? For a while, it looked as if the night of the Watergate break-in--June 17, 1972--would be just another famous date in the annals of petty crime. Now, a decade later, it looks more like a milestone in economics. Since that fateful evening when five men were arrested at gunpoint inside Democratic National Committee headquarters, Watergate has gone from a third-rate burglary to a first-class growth industry.
Conan Putnam
Tom Passavant
151
222
224
226

Who says crime doesn't pay? For a while, it looked as if the night of the Watergate break-in--June 17, 1972--would be just another famous date in the annals of petty crime. Now, a decade later, it looks more like a milestone in economics. Since that fateful evening when five men were arrested at gunpoint inside Democratic National Committee headquarters, Watergate has gone from a third-rate burglary to a first-class growth industry.

After some consideration, we decided that the most appropriate way to mark the tenth anniversary of the break-in was to prepare an accounting of just how much money--the fees, royalties, fines, bills and other assorted payments flowing to the participants, innocent bystanders and unindicted cocon-spirators--the resulting Watergate, Inc., has pumped into our economy. Please understand that we're not talking about profits per se; we're talking about moving money around in an economy.

As we soon found out, it's impossible to account for every single buck generated by an industry as successful as Water-gate, so the total is certainly higher than our bottom line. Deals are often conducted by lawyers, agents, publishers and other middlemen, who would (continued on page 222)Watergate, Inc.(continued from page 151) sooner be caught with a smoking pistol than say how much their clients are making. In some cases, when we couldn't get an exact figure, we went to authorities in a field for estimates, which are clearly marked on the chart and explained. In other cases, we've taken a logical average. Then there were some figures we just couldn't track down, so we had to eliminate the entries. For example, how much money has the presence of the Martha Mitchell House contributed to the tax coffers of Pine Bluff, Arkansas? And how much of a beverage called Watergate Bug Juice did the nation's liquor stores finally sell?

Watergate junkies and aggrieved principals in the audience are cordially invited to send along the answers to those and other unlisted statistics, plus their disputed accounting of the figures we have printed, care of Playboy's Editorial Department. Just remember that we are deliberately omitting such peripheral entries as increased business for security firms and larger endowments to jour-nalism schools and have concentrated on more direct stimulation to the economy.

One final thought: If Watergate could breathe this much life into the system, maybe what we need in these hard economic times is a juicy Reagan Administration scandal. Remember, it's not the bottom line that counts--it's the trickle-down along the way.

Books

The card catalog in the Library of Congress lists 169 book titles under the heading Watergate. They range from such yawn-inducing tomes as Constitutional Aspects of Watergate: Documents & Materials (five volumes) to Art Buchwald's "I Am Not a Crook." The list below includes those better-known books for which sales and profit estimates--or at least the number of books in print--were available. In the latter case, we multiplied the number of books by the cover price to arrive at a potential sales figure.

As for the remaining 150 titles, here's how we estimated. The average sale of a hardcover, according to publishing in-siders, would be about 7500 copies at $10 per copy, or $75,000 per book; for paperbacks, it would be 100,000 copies at about $2, or $200,000; for trade paperbacks, the average sale can be assumed to be about 20,000 at $5, or $100,000. Assuming that there are 50 books in each category, the totals look like this:

Hardcover books ...................... $ 3,750,000

Mass-market paperbacks ................ 10,000,000

Trade paperbacks ........................ 5,00,000

Total for nonlisted books ............. 18,750,000

Total for listed books ................ 30,166,790

Total ................................ $48,916,790

Magazines

Here we've added up only articles written by free-lancers, not those by newspaper reporters and magazine staffers, who presumable did the job as part of their regular salary. We counted 286 bylined pieces in the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature and the Popular Periodicals Index. A reasonable estimate of the average fee for each piece, according to John Brady, former editor of Writer's Digest, would be $350. Two hundred and eighty-six articles at $350 each:

Total ............................ $100,100

Fines

Conspiracy to obstruct justice was the verdict that resulted in fines for Ehrlichman, Haldeman, Robert Mardian and John Mitchell. Colson was nicked for obstruction of justice. Herbert Kalmbach pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Federal Corrupt Practices Act. E. Howard Hunt was indicted for six counts of conspiracy, burglary and wire tapping and pleaded guilty. G. Gordon Liddy's charges were the same as Hunt's but the fine was four times as large.

Colson ...................... $5000

Ehrlichman ................. 35,000

Haldeman ................... 21,000

Hunt ....................... 10,000

Kalmbach .................. 10,000

Liddy ...................... 40,000

Matdian .................... 10,000

Mitchell ................... 37,000

Maurice Stans ................ 5000

The Finance Committee of the Committee to Re-Elect the President was also fined $8000. Illegal campaign contributions to Nixon from corporations and corporate executives were in excess of $1,500,000, for which fines of $118,500 were levied.

Total ..................... $1,799,500

Government Costs

You think it's cheap to root out scandal in the baseboards of democracy? Wrong again, grasshopper. One San Francisco group, People Versus Porn (Profits of Richard Nixon), put Government costs at $19,500,000. Our list omits court costs for all those trials and hearings for which no specific costs could be apportioned. Some may argue that those figures should be debits subtracted from the total, since they did not "stimulate" the economy. That is true only if you aren't a prison guard or a legislative aide, however, so we've added them in.

Watergate Special Prosecution Force ...................... $ 7,200,000

Senate Select Committee on Watergate, operating expenses ................... 2,000,000 (Includes $4000 paid to such witnesses as Haldeman, who got $25 per day for testifying, and Dean, who got $6.25.)

House impeachment inquiry and Gerald R. Ford nomination (estimate) ...................... 1,700,000

General Services Administration investigations.....More than ...................... 100,000

Nixon defense ...................... 290,418

Government Printing Office, Presidential tapes (transcripts) ...................... 183,750

Total ...................... $11,474,168

Prison Costs

Getting the Watergate crew behind bars was expensive. Keeping them there was no bargain, either. Many of them did time in more than one place--from the toniest Federal prison camps, such as Allenwood, Safford and Lompoc, to Air Force Base prisons such as Eglin and Maxwell. The average cost works out to just under $25 per day, meals included, for the prisons on the list. We've multiplied that figure by the number of days in the slammer after sentences were handed out.

Bernard Barker, seven months in various prisons ...................... $ 5250

Dwight Chapin, eight months at Lompoc ...................... 6000

Colson, seven months in various prisons ...................... 5250

Dean, four and a half months at Fort Holabird ...................... 3375

Ehrlichman, 18 months at Safford ...................... 13,500

Virgilio Gonzalez, nine and a half months in various prisons ...................... 7125

Haldeman, 18 months at Lompoc ...................... 13,500

Hunt, 28 1/2 months in various prisons ...................... 21,375

Kalmbach, six months in various prisons ...................... 4500

Egil Krogh, four and a half months at Allenwood ...................... 3375

Liddy, 52 1/2 months in various prisons ...................... 39,375

Jeb Stuart Magruder, seven months at Allenwood ...................... 5250

Eugenio Martinez, nine and a half months in various prisons ...................... 7125

James McCord, two months at Allenwood ...................... 1500

Mitchell, 19 months at Maxwell ...................... 14,250

Total ...................... $150,750

Hush Money and Operating Expenses

The original Watergate budget, including cash payments to Liddy for "sensitive political projects," was $300,000, though Liddy probably received only about $200,000 when the scandal broke. Hush money and legal expenses for the defendants totaled at least $1,000,000.

Total ...................... $1,300,000

Legal Expenses and Lawsuits

Once again, you could argue that these expenses should be deducted from the total revenues of Watergate, Inc., since the defendants lost rather than gained money on their legal expenses. On the other hand, their lawyers did OK.

Committee to Re-Elect the President, sued by the Democratic Party for $6,400,000 in damages; reportedly settled for ...................... $ 525,000

Committee to Re-Elect the President, sued for $5,000,000 in damages by R. Spencer Oliver of the Democratic Association of State Chairmen for tapping his phone; settled for ...................... 215,000

Ehrlichman, legal expenses ...................... 350,000

Haldeman, legal expenses ...................... 350,000

Morton Halperin, judgment in $600,000 suit against Henry Kissinger and Alexander Haig for tapping his phone ...................... 1

Hunt, legal expenses ...................... 156,000

Liddy, legal expenses ...................... 306,000

Mardian, legal expenses ...................... 481,899

Mitchell legal expenses ...................... 771,000

Nixon, legal expenses ...................... 750,000

Kenneth Parkinson, legal expenses ...................... 73,400

Stans, legal expenses ...................... 157,700

Anthony Ulasewicz, legal expenses ...................... 34,720

Four Watergate burglars (Sturgis, Barker, Martinez, Gonzalez) ...................... 135,000

Total ...................... $4,305,720

Lectures

The fastest way to be rehabilitated from Watergate crimes was to publicly confess on the lecture circuit--usually at about $2500 to $5000 per testimony. Based on estimates from various lecturebureau officials, the totals look like this:

Barker .................... $40,000

Dash .................... 350,000

Dean.....(at least) .................... 700,000

Sam Ervin .................... 1,000,000

Hunt .................... 300,000

Liddy .................... 840,000

Magruder .................... 200,000

Martinez .................... 40,000

McCord .................... 200,000

Elliot Richardson .................... 225,000

Fred Thompson .................... 300,000

Frank Wills (security guard who discovered the burglars) .................... 2000

Total .................... $4,197,000

Woodstein

Since Woodward and Bernstein played such prominent journalistic and financial roles in Watergate, we've decided to give them a category of their own. The list doesn't include their greatly increased salaries, just those projects that directly relate to the scandal.

All the President's Men

Playboy excerpt .................... $30,000

Advance .................... 55,000

Hardcover and paperback sales .................... 12,143,050

Paperback rights .................... 1,000,000

Movie rights paid by Robert Redford to Simon & Schuster .................... 450,000

Movie gross .................... 58,000,000

The Final Days

Newsweek excerpt .................... 65,000

Paperback-reprint rights .................... 1,500,000

Hardcover sales .................... 5,475,000

Lectures ($450,000 each) .................... 900,000

Total .................... $79,618,050

Television

Most of the television deals relating to Watergate haven't been made public, so it's hard to tell how much money Liddy, say, got for Will, which was shown on NBC last January, or what Dean netted for Blind Ambition, even though the Ehrlichman figure for The Company is probably a good starting point. It's also impossible to say how much, if any, income was generated by all the TV coverage of the scandal. If a reporter became a star because of his Watergate investigations and saw his salary jump, good for him. We couldn't count it.

Contributions to public television as a result of live TV coverage of the hearings (estimated) .................... $750,000

David Frost interviews with Nixon, total profits (estimated) .................... 3,000,000 (Nixon got $600,000, plus 20 percent of the profits, and the series of five interviews sold for $125,000 per minute of commercial time.)

CBS' payment for interviews with Haldeman .................... 25,000

CBS' payment for interview with Liddy .................... 25,000

Ehrlichman film rights for TV movie of The Company .................... 75,000

Total .................... $3,875,000

Miscellaneous

Nasty Habits (convent satire on Watergate, starring Glenda Jackson, Geraldine Page and Melina Mercouri) gross .................... $4,000,000

Oval Office recording equipment .................... About 2800 (Seven Sony TC800B recorders at $279.95 each; two Uher recorders at about $400 each)

Senator Sam at Home, LP recorded by Ervin in 1973; sold about 7500 copies at $5.98 each .................... 44,625

Watergate Coverup sunglasses, about 200 sold at $10 each. .................... 2000

Gold ($225) and silver ($75) pins in the shape of elephants wearing earphones; Watergate Jewelers sold about 100 of each .................... 30,000

Seven Watergate signatures sold at auction (package included a Nixon Knew button) .................... 180

Total .................... $4,079,605

Grand Total .................... $159,816,683

"If Watergate could breathe this much life into the system, maybe we need a juicy Reagan scandal."

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