James Deakin, WH Correspondent on Nixon's 'Enemies List,' Passes Away

By: James Deakin, a longtime White House correspondent whose critical reporting put him on Richard Nixon's "enemies list" and earned angry rebukes from Lyndon Johnson, has died. He was 77.

Deakin died Sunday of liver cancer in a nursing home near his home in Barrington, said his son, David Deakin.

He covered the White House from 1958 to 1980 for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He wrote several books, including a critical report about lobbying and President Lyndon B. Johnson, titled: "Lyndon Johnson's Credibility Gap."

The St. Louis native dictated his own obituary three weeks before his death, his son said.

One of Deakin's best known books was "Straight Stuff: The Reporters, The White House and the Truth." In it, he argued that the news media were a permanent, resident critic of government, not an adversarial enemy dedicated to its destruction.

Deakin also wrote freelance articles for Esquire, The New Republic, and other magazines. He was president of The White House Correspondents Association in 1974.

He was adjunct associate professor of journalism at George Washington University from 1981 to 1987. He also was a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars between 1980 and 1981.


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