June 10, 2012

Woodward and Bernstein on "Face the Nation" — falling short on consistency about journalistic ethics?

First, they praise their own work from the Watergate era:
WOODWARD: Well, that we were just trying to find out what happened and... we were as empirical as we could be. And, you know, it needs to be said that we work for an editor, Ben Bradley, and other editors at the Post who were not - who didn't have an agenda themselves. But their agenda was "get the f-ing story; get into it; keep digging; don't let up." And we were 28 and 29 at the time. And it is very liberating to work in an institution where they really understand what we're trying to do. And they say to you, you know, use all your resources, use all the resources of this newspaper. In fact, if there is peril, if we are not believed but we think we have good sources, continue.
Then, the interviewer, Bob Schieffer, brings up the present-day problem with national security leaks that seem to be coming from the White House and for the purpose of making Obama "look like a stronger leader."
BERNSTEIN: I think first you've got to be very careful about creating a witch hunt for sources, and a witch hunt in which you go after reporters, because now more than ever we need real reporting on this presidency, on national security, on all these areas. And the press is not the problem here. We've got plenty of laws and if somebody inside is doing things with real national security secrets that he oughtn't or she oughtn't to be doing in terms of giving them to the press, that's one thing. But let's be really careful before we start a witch hunt here.

WOODWARD: Yes, and I completely agree with that. And by having an investigation, I mean, was there real harm to the national security? I think that question needs to be addressed at a policy level. And it's very difficult, I know from doing stories like this, where you are dealing with sensitive government secrets, to modulate and be careful, at the same time hold the government accountable for what they're doing. So this is an area that needs to be handled with great delicacy and I'm not sure we have a political system that knows how to do anything with great delicacy.

BERNSTEIN: The record of the press, you know, is really quite good in protecting real genuine national security secrets which we often know about. Don't put -- you know, think of what you are carrying around in your head that you don't put on the air.
What happened to get the f-ing story; get into it; keep digging; don't let up?

31 comments:

Chip Ahoy said...

Exactamente.

Ken said...

What happened to get the f-ing story; get into it; keep digging; don't let up?

For the same reason "journalists" are doing their level best to ignore Fast and Furious: Obama's a democrat, whereas Nixon was a republican. Didn't you know that covering up a break in is far worse than arming drug dealers, which in turn caused the death of at least 200 people to date when the former is done by a republican and the latter is done by a democrat?

chuck said...

They are good soldiers of the Democrat army. The "get the story" stuff is just high sounding glorification of squalid partisan warfare.

Skyler said...

"The record of the press, you know, is really quite good in protecting real genuine national security secrets which we often know about."

Yes, because the "press" is a monolithic entity that is the same across all publications.

Fen said...

Whores.

Mark said...

The record of the press, you know, is really quite good in protecting real genuine national security secrets which we often know about

"Trust us. We're professionals."

And then the latex gloves come out.

Dick Stanley said...

No Republican involved, this time. Takes a lot of the f-ing out of it, no doubt.

rcommal said...

What happened to get the f-ing story; get into it; keep digging; don't let up?

Self-serving, dishonest, hypocritical, delusional B.S., is what happened to it. What a disgrace.

Mr. Forward said...

"Get the f-ing 40 year old story!"

Tim said...

"What happened to get the f-ing story; get into it; keep digging; don't let up?"

This is not the biased liberal news media you are looking for.

MisterBuddwing said...

Ben Bradlee, not Bradley.

Tim said...

Fen said...

"Whores."

Hey, what the hell do you have against whores that you'd besmirch their character by comparing them to journalists?

bagoh20 said...

Nixon? Wait a minute, I thought it was Bush's fault. How many f-ing Republicans does it take to cover up a SCOAMF?

wyo sis said...

Get the story. But squash it if it doesn't suit your purposes. It was true then and it's true now. Ask yourself "What if Watergate had been a Democrat operation under a Democrat administration?"

bagoh20 said...

There are a few professions where the high ethics of the thing are claimed by all but practiced by a very few. Journalism is one of those.

In those professions the ethics are constantly challenged by outsiders, with little effect, because so many within the profession like it just the way it is.

Penny said...

"What happened to get the f-ing story; get into it; keep digging; don't let up?"

You mean like Dan Rather did?

Fred Broder said...

Which one was the Red diaper baby?

gadfly said...

Woodward and Bernstein shorthand:
It's friggin' OK to investigate, spin, slant and massage news except when it is unfavorable to liberal causes or favorable toward conservatives. In all such cases where these last conditions exist, show no interest and report nothing.

Maybe the proper thing to do is to reopen Wategate to an investigation by special counsel. Since Watergate, these guys have been sitting on their hands raking in big bucks for past fame. The "Deep Throat" story was milked forever (pun intended) until death intervened.

n.n said...

Obama may have been just what America needed: a wake-up call. Americans have grown complacent in their comfort and have permitted corruption to progress unchecked. However, considering the method of reform observed in other nations around the world, we should consider ourselves fortunate that our society has mostly retained its integrity.

Comanche Voter said...

Whore that only screw one party.

Comanche Voter said...

Whore that only screw one party.

Comanche Voter said...

Whore that only screw one party.

sandycai said...

On each of our initial sleepover,Came rested well ergo baby as part of his baby room room inside my parents' ergo baby carrier property. He has a new child's crib and Ergo Baby Organic goes to sleep quickly in there. The room I rested well throughout had been baby rucksack proper beside their. At night time, he automobile as soon as and the weep shocked me personally.

edutcher said...

The Lefties have been patting themselves and each other on the back since Halberstam told himself he was "speaking truth to power" regarding the Vietnam War.

The Establishment Media serves as echo chamber as well as Propaganda Ministry.

techsan said...

WOODWARD (paraphrased): Well, we are just trying to ignore what happened and... we are not empirical. And, you know, it needs to be said that we work for an editor, Marcus W. Brauchli, and other editors at the Post who are - who have an agenda themselves. But their agenda for reporting on Democrats is "ignore the f-ing story; dodge it; don't dig too much; let up as much as you can." And we pretend we're still 28 and 29. And it is very liberating to work in an institution where they really understand what we're trying to do. And they say to you, you know, for Republicans use all your resources, use all the resources of this newspaper. In fact, if there is no peril, create one. If we are not believed but we think we have damaging sources, continue.

Michael Haz said...

Woodward and Bernstein have been resting on their laurels since 1972.

If they had any stones, and any sense of a reporters impartiality, they'd be all over the questions about Obama's birth certificate, his lack of college and law school transcripts, etc.

But he's a member of the protected party; Nixon and Bush weren't.

Hack reporters.

virgil xenophon said...

@Fred Broder/

Bernstein.

Bryan C said...

"The record of the press, you know, is really quite good in protecting real genuine national security secrets which we often know about."

This is true, once you realize that "real genuine national security secrets" are defined as "things which we feel would embarrass our friends in power". They are very good at keeping those quiet. And they're proud of it.

ndspinelli said...

Bernstein must be up to 2 quarts of vodka a day.

RonF said...

I thought the phrase "journalistic ethics" was an oxymoron.

cubanbob said...

What isn't said about those super journolists is that they forgot to look in to the why of Watergate. The story would have had a lot less pizzaz if they only bothered to dig and then find out that Nixon's people were looking for communists embedded in the democrats campaign. You know those pesky aiders and abetters of the communists we just happen to fighting a war with. But then it wouldn't have been a sexy story or fit the narrative. During the 72 election the public knew about Watergate but didn't care considering it was a choice between McGovern and Nixon. Nixon's real mistake was not resign but take the democrats threat to impeach him head-on. The democrats would have put on a show and embarrass themselves in the end and Nixon would have survived.