Woodward, Bob and Carl Bernstein - History

Woodward, Bob and Carl Bernstein - History


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Woodward, Bob &

Carl Bernstein

Journalist


Award-winning investigative journalists Woodward and Bernstein came to fame during the tumultuous era of Watergate. As reporters for the Washington Post, they exposed the nature of the Watergate episode.

They went on to write the best-selling All the President's Men (1974), an account of the episode and the resultant scandal. Woodward went on to several senior positions at the newspaper while Bernstein moved to television, working at ABC in various capacities including Washington bureau chief.


Woodward & Bernstein: The Movie

Although the movie is the result of Redford's determination to get it made as the Watergate story unfolded, its authenticity and endurance have everything to do with its director, Alan J. Pakula, who morphed into a Sigmund Freud with notepad before any camera rolled. His detailed notes, first made public in December 2005, were donated by his wife to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after his death in 1998 in an automobile accident. They show how Pakula came to view his protagonists.

In January 1975, five months after President Nixon had resigned, Pakula flew to Washington to begin in-depth interviews with a dozen of the principals involved in unraveling the Watergate tale. He sat down with Woodward, then 32, Bernstein, then 31, their editors, their friends and the two women at the center of the reporters' lives. Woodward had married reporter Francie Barnard, and Bernstein was dating Nora Ephron, whom he married on April 14, 1976, 10 days after the movie debuted in Washington.

Pakula didn't want facts alone. He wanted to understand Woodward and Bernstein deeply so he could capture their true characters and motivations for the movie. Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post during Watergate, told me that Pakula spent "so much time with each of us. He knew all about my mother, brother, everything." (Jason Robards, who played Bradlee, is on the screen only 10 minutes.)

During Watergate, no matter how well Bernstein reported the story, he was pegged by Washington Post editors as the "bad boy" of the duo -- always late, unreliable and quick to hype his leads. In her interview with Pakula, Ephron tried to rehabilitate her boyfriend's reputation. She said Bernstein was driven to uncover the Watergate story because he wanted to prove everyone at the Post wrong. He was not lazy, she insisted. He just had a "psychosis" about being controlled by authority figures.

The notes from Pakula's interview with Ephron reveal a key to his understanding of Woodward and Bernstein. "Underneath all the arguments and fights -- way down, they hated each other," Pakula wrote. "The qualities that each other had -- the qualities that they needed [to report Watergate] -- they didn't like. Bob's sucking up to people. Carl knew he needed [that quality] but despised it in Bob. Bob needed Carl because Carl was pushy. Bob can formulate and Carl can draw conclusions."

One story that Ephron shared with Pakula concerned how the two reporters sparred as they raced to complete the book All the President's Men. Woodward, she told the director, could be "so stubborn and bullheaded" and had "no instinct for writing." When Ephron and Bernstein were in Martinique on vacation, Woodward and Bernstein fought on the telephone, to the tune of a $400 bill, about verb tenses.

Pakula's notes, dated May 2, 1975, indicate that he'd concluded this about the two reporters:

  • Bob thought Carl was "hype, no follow-through. All talk. Bull---- artist. Irresponsible."
  • Carl saw Bob as "a machine. He's a reporter doll. Give him a story, any story, and he runs with it. A drone. No humor. No surprises. All stability. White bread. Mr. Perfect. No soul."

Pakula gradually realized that neither Woodward nor Bernstein could have pulled off Watergate alone. Despite their stark differences, they needed each another. Each had strengths that complemented the other's.

"Bernstein could be right intuitively -- but dangerous left to himself," Pakula wrote in his notes. "Woodward cautiously would have to go from one step literally to another. And yet it was Bernstein's daring that was necessary."

But in his interview with Woodward, Pakula discovered that the reporter could surprise: Other people's secrets fascinated and obsessed him. Although Woodward was reluctant to talk about himself as a reporter, he was determined to expose other people's secrets. The dichotomy intrigued Pakula.

But as Pakula began to understand Woodward, he wondered if the charming, handsome Redford, then 39, could play someone so different from himself. Woodward moved logically. His unfounded fear of being fired and his need to belong fueled his workaholic lifestyle.

Pakula wrote that Redford would have to "scrap his charm. It's that square, straight, intense, decent quality of Woodward's that works. Redford can get that compulsive drive. Can he get the hurt and vulnerability?"

Throughout filming in 1975, if there was a question on how Woodward or Bernstein might react, Redford or Hoffman or Pakula called either man. "It was the first film I ever made like this," Hoffman told me. "We kept trying to adhere to the authenticity of what happened by almost talking to them on a daily basis."

Whenever they could, Woodward and Bernstein visited the sets. One midnight in June 1975, Bernstein watched as Pakula directed a scene. Hoffman was running down an empty street, chasing after Redford's gray Volvo as it pulled out of the Post parking lot. He yelled, "Stop! . Woodward! Stop!"

Bernstein recalled in a 1975 interview, now in Pakula's archive, that "big crowds were outside. I got there just as Hoffman broke from the building. It was one of the most incredible feelings that I've had in my life because, you know, it had been a long time since we had started to work on the story, and I didn't exactly know who I was or who he was -- existentially, it was sort of a total mind----. He had the mannerisms. You're not used to seeing your actions. Yet I knew that he was right."

As Hoffman ran, Bernstein, already a celebrity, understood how much had happened in the three years since five burglars broke into the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate hotel.

"I'm not really like that anymore," Bernstein said in the interview. "That happened a long time ago. Would I run like that again?"


Contents

The Washington Post is regarded as one of the leading daily American newspapers [13] along with The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal. The Post has distinguished itself through its political reporting on the workings of the White House, Congress, and other aspects of the U.S. government.

Unlike The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post does not print an edition for distribution away from the East Coast. In 2009, the newspaper ceased publication of its National Weekly Edition (a combination of stories from the week's print editions), due to shrinking circulation. [14] The majority of its newsprint readership is in the District of Columbia and its suburbs in Maryland and Northern Virginia. [15]

The newspaper is one of a few U.S. newspapers with foreign bureaus, which are located in Baghdad, Beijing, Beirut, Berlin, Brussels, Cairo, Dakar, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jerusalem, London, Mexico City, Moscow, Nairobi, New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Tokyo and Toronto. [16] In November 2009, it announced the closure of its U.S. regional bureaus—Chicago, Los Angeles and New York—as part of an increased focus on "political stories and local news coverage in Washington." [17] The newspaper has local bureaus in Maryland (Annapolis, Montgomery County, Prince George's County, and Southern Maryland) and Virginia (Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun County, Richmond, and Prince William County). [18]

As of May 2013 [update] , its average weekday circulation was 474,767, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, making it the seventh largest newspaper in the country by circulation, behind USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Daily News, and the New York Post. Although its circulation (like almost all newspapers) has been slipping, it has one of the highest market penetration rates of any metropolitan news daily.

For many decades, the Post had its main office at 1150 15th Street NW. This real estate remained with Graham Holdings when the newspaper was sold to Jeff Bezos' Nash Holdings in 2013. Graham Holdings sold 1150 15th Street (along with 1515 L Street, 1523 L Street, and land beneath 1100 15th Street) for US$159 million in November 2013. The Washington Post continued to lease space at 1150 L Street NW. [19] In May 2014, The Washington Post leased the west tower of One Franklin Square, a high-rise building at 1301 K Street NW in Washington, D.C. The newspaper moved into its new offices on December 14, 2015. [20]

The Post has its own exclusive zip code, 20071.

Arc Publishing is a department of The Washington Post, which provides the publishing system Arc, software for news organizations such as the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. [21]

Founding and early period Edit

The newspaper was founded in 1877 by Stilson Hutchins (1838–1912), and in 1880 it added a Sunday edition, becoming the city's first newspaper to publish seven days a week. [22]

In April 1878, about four months into publication, The Washington Post purchased The Washington Union, a competing newspaper which was founded by John Lynch in late 1877. The Union had only been in operation about six months at the time of the acquisition. The combined newspaper was published from the Globe Building as The Washington Post and Union beginning on April 15, 1878, with a circulation of 13,000. [23] [24] The Post and Union name was used about two weeks until April 29, 1878, returning to the original masthead the following day. [25]

In 1889, Hutchins sold the newspaper to Frank Hatton, a former Postmaster General, and Beriah Wilkins, a former Democratic congressman from Ohio. To promote the newspaper, the new owners requested the leader of the United States Marine Band, John Philip Sousa, to compose a march for the newspaper's essay contest awards ceremony. Sousa composed "The Washington Post". [26] It became the standard music to accompany the two-step, a late 19th-century dance craze, [27] and remains one of Sousa's best-known works.

In 1893, the newspaper moved to a building at 14th and E streets NW, where it would remain until 1950. This building combined all functions of the newspaper into one headquarters – newsroom, advertising, typesetting, and printing – that ran 24 hours per day. [28]

In 1898, during the Spanish–American War, the Post printed Clifford K. Berryman's classic illustration Remember the Maine, which became the battle-cry for American sailors during the War. In 1902, Berryman published another famous cartoon in the PostDrawing the Line in Mississippi. This cartoon depicts President Theodore Roosevelt showing compassion for a small bear cub and inspired New York store owner Morris Michtom to create the teddy bear. [29]

Wilkins acquired Hatton's share of the newspaper in 1894 at Hatton's death. After Wilkins' death in 1903, his sons John and Robert ran the Post for two years before selling it in 1905 to John Roll McLean, owner of the Cincinnati Enquirer. During the Wilson presidency, the Post was credited with the "most famous newspaper typo" in D.C. history according to Reason magazine the Post intended to report that President Wilson had been "entertaining" his future-wife Mrs. Galt, but instead wrote that he had been "entering" Mrs. Galt. [30] [31] [32]

When John McLean died in 1916, he put the newspaper in trust, having little faith that his playboy son Edward "Ned" McLean could manage his inheritance. Ned went to court and broke the trust, but, under his management, the newspaper slumped toward ruin. He bled the paper for his lavish lifestyle, and used it to promote political agendas. [33]

During the Red Summer of 1919 the Post supported the white mobs and even ran a front-page story which advertised the location at which white servicemen were planning to meet to carry out attacks on black Washingtonians. [34]

Meyer–Graham period Edit

In 1929, financier Eugene Meyer (who had run the War Finance Corp. since World War I [35] ) secretly made an offer of $5 million for the Post, but he was rebuffed by Ned McLean. [36] [37] On June 1, 1933, Meyer bought the paper at a bankruptcy auction for $825,000 three weeks after stepping down as Chairman of the Federal Reserve. He had bid anonymously, and was prepared to go up to $2 million, far higher than the other bidders. [38] [39] These included William Randolph Hearst, who had long hoped to shut down the ailing Post to benefit his own Washington newspaper presence. [40]

The Post 's health and reputation were restored under Meyer's ownership. In 1946, he was succeeded as publisher by his son-in-law, Philip Graham. [41] Meyer eventually gained the last laugh over Hearst, who had owned the old Washington Times and the Herald before their 1939 merger that formed the Times-Herald. This was in turn bought by and merged into the Post in 1954. [42] The combined paper was officially named The Washington Post and Times-Herald until 1973, although the Times-Herald portion of the nameplate became less and less prominent over time. The merger left the Post with two remaining local competitors, the Washington Star (Evening Star) and The Washington Daily News which merged in 1972, forming the Washington Star-News. [43] [44]

After Phil Graham's death in 1963, control of The Washington Post Company passed to his wife Katharine Graham (1917–2001), who was also Eugene Meyer's daughter. Few women had run prominent national newspapers in the United States. Katharine Graham described her own anxiety and lack of confidence as she stepped into a leadership role in her autobiography. She served as publisher from 1969 to 1979. [45]

Graham took The Washington Post Company public on June 15, 1971, in the midst of the Pentagon Papers controversy. A total of 1,294,000 shares were offered to the public at $26 per share. [46] [47] By the end of Graham's tenure as CEO in 1991, the stock was worth $888 per share, not counting the effect of an intermediate 4:1 stock split. [48]

During this time, Graham also oversaw the Post company's diversification purchase of the for-profit education and training company Kaplan, Inc. for $40 million in 1984. [49] Twenty years later, Kaplan had surpassed the Post newspaper as the company's leading contributor to income, and by 2010 Kaplan accounted for more than 60% of the entire company revenue stream. [50]

Executive editor Ben Bradlee put the newspaper's reputation and resources behind reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who, in a long series of articles, chipped away at the story behind the 1972 burglary of Democratic National Committee offices in the Watergate complex in Washington. The Post 's dogged coverage of the story, the outcome of which ultimately played a major role in the resignation of President Richard Nixon, won the newspaper a Pulitzer Prize in 1973. [51]

In 1972, the "Book World" section was introduced with Pulitzer Prize-winning critic William McPherson as its first editor. [52] It featured Pulitzer Prize-winning critics such as Jonathan Yardley and Michael Dirda, the latter of whom established his career as a critic at the Post. In 2009, after 37 years, with great reader outcries and protest, The Washington Post Book World as a standalone insert was discontinued, the last issue being Sunday, February 15, 2009, [53] along with a general reorganization of the paper, such as placing the Sunday editorials on the back page of the main front section rather than the "Outlook" section and distributing some other locally oriented "op-ed" letters and commentaries in other sections. [54] However, book reviews are still published in the Outlook section on Sundays and in the Style section the rest of the week, as well as online. [54]

In 1975, the pressmen's union went on strike. The Post hired replacement workers to replace the pressmen's union, and other unions returned to work in February 1976. [55]

Donald E. Graham, Katharine's son, succeeded her as a publisher in 1979. [45]

In 1995, the domain name washingtonpost.com was purchased. That same year, a failed effort to create an online news repository called Digital Ink launched. The following year it was shut down and the first website was launched in June 1996. [56]

Jeff Bezos era (2013–present) Edit

In 2013, Jeff Bezos purchased the paper for US$250 million . [57] [58] [59] The newspaper is now owned by Nash Holdings LLC, a company controlled by Bezos. [58] The sale also included other local publications, websites, and real estate. [60] [61] [62] The paper's former parent company, which retained some other assets such as Kaplan and a group of TV stations, was renamed Graham Holdings Company shortly after the sale. [11] [63]

Nash Holdings, including the Post, is operated separately from technology company Amazon, of which Bezos is the CEO and largest single shareholder (at about 10.9%). [64] [65]

Bezos said he has a vision that recreates "the 'daily ritual' of reading the Post as a bundle, not merely a series of individual stories. " [66] He has been described as a "hands-off owner," holding teleconference calls with executive editor Martin Baron every two weeks. [67] Bezos appointed Fred Ryan (founder and CEO of Politico) to serve as publisher and chief executive officer. This signaled Bezos’ intent to shift the Post to a more digital focus with a national and global readership. [68]

In 2014, the Post announced it was moving from 1150 15th Street to a leased space three blocks away at One Franklin Square on K Street. [69] In recent years, the Post launched an online personal finance section, [70] as well as a blog and a podcast with a retro theme. [71] [72] The Washington Post won the 2020 Webby Award for News & Politics in the category Social. [73] The Washington Post won the 2020 Webby People's Voice Award for News & Politics in the category Web. [73]

1933–2000 Edit

When financier Eugene Meyer bought the bankrupt Post in 1933, he assured the public he wouldn't be beholden to any party. [74] But as a leading Republican (it was his old friend Herbert Hoover who had made him Federal Reserve Chairman in 1930), his opposition to FDR's New Deal colored the paper's editorial stance as well as its news coverage. This included editorializing "news" stories written by Meyer under a pseudonym. [75] [76] [77] His wife Agnes Ernst Meyer was a journalist from the other end of the spectrum politically. The Post ran many of her pieces including tributes to her personal friends John Dewey and Saul Alinsky. [78] [79] [80] [81]

Eugene Meyer became head of the World Bank in 1946, and he named his son-in-law Phil Graham to succeed him as Post publisher. The post-war years saw the developing friendship of Phil and Kay Graham with the Kennedys, the Bradlees and the rest of the "Georgetown Set" (many Harvard alumni) that would color the Post's political orientation. [82] Kay Graham's most memorable Georgetown soirée guest list included British diplomat/communist spy Donald Maclean. [83] [84]

The Post is credited with coining the term "McCarthyism" in a 1950 editorial cartoon by Herbert Block. [85] Depicting buckets of tar, it made fun of Sen. Joseph McCarthy's "tarring" tactics, i.e., smear campaigns and character assassination against those targeted by his accusations. Sen. McCarthy was attempting to do for the Senate what the House Un-American Activities Committee had been doing for years—investigating Soviet espionage in America. The HUAC made Richard Nixon nationally known for his role in the Hiss/Chambers case that exposed communist spying in the State Department. The committee had evolved from the McCormack-Dickstein Committee of the 1930s. [86]

Phil Graham's friendship with JFK remained strong until their untimely deaths in 1963. [87] FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover reportedly told the new President Lyndon B. Johnson, "I don't have much influence with the Post because I frankly don't read it. I view it like the Daily Worker." [88] [89]

Ben Bradlee became the editor-in-chief in 1968, and Kay Graham officially became the publisher in 1969, paving the way for the aggressive reporting of the Pentagon Papers and Watergate scandals. The Post strengthened public opposition to the Vietnam War in 1971 when it published the Pentagon Papers. [90] In the mid-1970s, some conservatives referred to the Post as "Pravda on the Potomac" because of its perceived left-wing bias in both reporting and editorials. [91] Since then, the appellation has been used by both liberal and conservative critics of the newspaper. [92] [93]

2000–present Edit

In the PBS documentary Buying the War, journalist Bill Moyers said in the year prior to the Iraq War there were 27 editorials supporting the Bush administration's ambitions to invade the country. National security correspondent Walter Pincus reported that he had been ordered to cease his reports that were critical of the administration. [94] According to author and journalist Greg Mitchell: "By the Post 's own admission, in the months before the war, it ran more than 140 stories on its front page promoting the war, while contrary information got lost". [95]

On March 26, 2007, Chris Matthews said on his television program, "Well, The Washington Post is not the liberal newspaper it was, Congressman, let me tell you. I have been reading it for years and it is a neocon newspaper". [96] It has regularly published a mixture of op-ed columnists, with some of them left-leaning (including E. J. Dionne, Dana Milbank, Greg Sargent, and Eugene Robinson), and some of them right-leaning (including George Will, Marc Thiessen, Michael Gerson and Charles Krauthammer).

In a study published on April 18, 2007, by Yale professors Alan Gerber, Dean Karlan, and Daniel Bergan, citizens were given a subscription to either the conservative-leaning Washington Times or the liberal-leaning Washington Post to see the effect that media has on voting patterns. Gerber had estimated based on his work that the Post slanted as much to the left as the Times did to the right. Gerber found those who were given a free subscription of the Post were 7.9–11.4% more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate for governor than those assigned to the control group, depending on the adjustment for the date on which individual participants were surveyed and the survey interviewer however, people who received the Times were also more likely than controls to vote for the Democrat, with an effect approximately 60% as large as that estimated for the Post. [97] [98] The study authors said that sampling error might have played a role in the effect of the conservative-leaning Times, as might the fact that the Democratic candidate took more conservative-leaning positions than is typical for his party, and "the month prior to the post-election survey was a difficult period for President Bush, one in which his overall approval rating fell by approximately 4 percentage points nationwide. It appears that heightened exposure to both papers’ news coverage, despite opposing ideological slants, moved public opinion away from Republicans." [98]

In November 2007, the newspaper was criticized by independent journalist Robert Parry for reporting on anti-Obama chain e-mails without sufficiently emphasizing to its readers the false nature of the anonymous claims. [99] In 2009, Parry criticized the newspaper for its allegedly unfair reporting on liberal politicians, including Vice President Al Gore and President Barack Obama. [100]

Responding to criticism of the newspaper's coverage during the run-up to the 2008 presidential election, former Post ombudsman Deborah Howell wrote: "The opinion pages have strong conservative voices the editorial board includes centrists and conservatives and there were editorials critical of Obama. Yet opinion was still weighted toward Obama." [101] According to a 2009 Oxford University Press book by Richard Davis on the impact of blogs on American politics, liberal bloggers link to The Washington Post and The New York Times more often than other major newspapers however, conservative bloggers also link predominantly to liberal newspapers. [102]

In mid-September 2016, Matthew Ingram of Forbes joined Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept, and Trevor Timm of The Guardian in criticizing The Washington Post for "demanding that [former National Security Agency contractor Edward] Snowden . stand trial on espionage charges". [103] [104] [105] [106]

In February 2017, the Post adopted the slogan "Democracy Dies in Darkness" for its masthead. [107]

Since 2011, the Post has been running a column called "The Fact Checker" that the Post describes as a "truth squad." [108] The Fact Checker received a $250,000 grant from Google News Initiative/YouTube to expand production of video fact checks. [108]

Political endorsements Edit

Katharine Graham wrote in her autobiography Personal History that the newspaper long had a policy of not making endorsements for political candidates. However, since at least 2000, the newspaper has occasionally endorsed Republican politicians, such as Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich. [109] In 2006, it repeated its historic endorsements of every Republican incumbent for Congress in Northern Virginia. [110] There have also been times when the Post has specifically chosen not to endorse any candidate, such as in the 1988 presidential election when it refused to endorse then-Governor Michael Dukakis or then-Vice President George H. W. Bush. [111] On October 17, 2008, the Post endorsed Barack Obama for President of the United States. [112] On October 25, 2012, the newspaper endorsed the Obama's re-election. [113] The Post has endorsed Democrats for president during at least nine different presidential elections. [114] The paper has never endorsed a Republican for president. [114] On October 21, 2014, the newspaper endorsed 44 Democratic candidates versus 3 Republican candidates for the 2014 elections in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia. [115] On October 13, 2016, it endorsed Hillary Clinton for that year's presidential election. [116] On September 28, 2020, it endorsed Joe Biden for 2020 United States presidential election. [117]

The Post endorsed Maryland Governor Harry Hughes and D.C. Mayor Marion Barry in the 1978 elections.

"Jimmy's World" fabrication Edit

In September 1980, a Sunday feature story appeared on the front page of the Post titled "Jimmy's World" in which reporter Janet Cooke wrote a profile of the life of an eight-year-old heroin addict. [118] Although some within the Post doubted the story's veracity, the paper's editors defended it, and assistant managing editor Bob Woodward submitted the story to the Pulitzer Prize Board at Columbia University for consideration. Cooke was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing on April 13, 1981. The story was then found to be a complete fabrication, and the Pulitzer was returned. [119]

Private "salon" solicitation Edit

In July 2009, in the midst of an intense debate over health care reform, The Politico reported that a health-care lobbyist had received an "astonishing" offer of access to the Post's "health-care reporting and editorial staff." [120] Post publisher Katharine Weymouth had planned a series of exclusive dinner parties or "salons" at her private residence, to which she had invited prominent lobbyists, trade group members, politicians, and business people. [121] Participants were to be charged $25,000 to sponsor a single salon, and $250,000 for 11 sessions, with the events being closed to the public and to the non-Post press. [122] Politico ' s revelation gained a somewhat mixed response in Washington [ citation needed ] , as it gave the impression that the parties' sole purpose was to allow insiders to purchase face time with Post staff.

Almost immediately following the disclosure, Weymouth canceled the salons, saying, "This should never have happened." White House counsel Gregory B. Craig reminded officials that under federal ethics rules, they need advance approval for such events. Post Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli, who was named on the flier as one of the salon's "Hosts and Discussion Leaders," said he was "appalled" by the plan, adding, "It suggests that access to Washington Post journalists was available for purchase." [123]

China Daily advertising supplements Edit

Dating back to 2011, The Washington Post began to include "China Watch" advertising supplements provided by China Daily, an English language newspaper owned by the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China, on the print and online editions. Although the header to the online "China Watch" section included the text "A Paid Supplement to The Washington Post," James Fallows of The Atlantic suggested that the notice was not clear enough for most readers to see. [124] Distributed to the Post and multiple newspapers around the world, the "China Watch" advertising supplements range from four to eight pages and appear at least monthly. According to a 2018 report by The Guardian, "China Watch" uses "a didactic, old-school approach to propaganda." [125]

In 2020, a report by Freedom House, "Beijing's Global Megaphone," was also critical of the Post and other newspapers for distributing "China Watch". [126] [127] In the same year, thirty-five Republican members of the U.S. Congress wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice in February 2020 calling for an investigation of potential FARA violations by China Daily. [128] The letter named an article that appeared in the Post, "Education Flaws Linked to Hong Kong Unrest," as an example of "articles [that] serve as cover for China’s atrocities, including. its support for the crackdown in Hong Kong." [129] According to The Guardian, the Post had already stopped running "China Watch" in 2019. [130]

Pay practices Edit

In June 2018, over 400 employees of The Washington Post signed an open letter to the owner Jeff Bezos demanding "fair wages fair benefits for retirement, family leave and health care and a fair amount of job security." The open letter was accompanied by video testimonials from employees, who alleged "shocking pay practices" despite record growth in subscriptions at the newspaper, with salaries only rising an average of $10 per week, less than half the rate of inflation. The petition followed on a year of unsuccessful negotiations between The Washington Post Guild and upper management over pay and benefit increases. [131]

Lawsuit by Covington Catholic High School student Edit

In 2019, Covington Catholic High School student Nick Sandmann filed a defamation lawsuit against the Post, alleging that it libeled him in seven articles regarding the January 2019 Lincoln Memorial confrontation between Covington students and the Indigenous Peoples March. [132] [133] In October 2019, a federal judge dismissed the case, ruling that 30 of the 33 statements in the Post that Sandmann alleged were libelous were not, but allowed Sandmann to file an amended complaint. [134] After Sandmann's lawyers amended the complaint, the suit was reopened on October 28, 2019. [135] The judge stood by his earlier decision that 30 of the Post's 33 statements targeted by the complaint were not libelous, but agreed that a further review was required for three statements that "state that (Sandmann) 'blocked' Nathan Phillips and 'would not allow him to retreat'". [136] On July 24, 2020, The Washington Post settled the lawsuit with Nick Sandmann. The amount of the settlement has not been made public. [137]

Controversial op-eds and columns Edit

Several Washington Post op-eds and columns have prompted criticism, including a number of comments on race by columnist Richard Cohen over the years, [138] [139] and a controversial 2014 column on campus sexual assault by George Will. [140] [141] The Post ' 's decision to run an op-ed by Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a leader in Yemen's Houthi movement, was criticized by some activists on the basis that it provided a platform to an "anti-Western and antisemitic group supported by Iran." [142]

Critical Race Theory Controversy and Anti-Whiteness Edit

Washington has taken an aggressive Anti-Whiteness stance and promoted a multiple Crtical Race Theory columns and sections, including "Lily". [143]

At the same time, the Washington Post has run disinformation stories to suggest the issues with Critical Race Theory are made up by journalist Christopher Rufo. [144] Rufo proceeded to refute the Post claims on twitter, [145] showing the story was a made up "hit piece" [146]

Criticism by elected officials Edit

President Donald Trump has repeatedly railed against the Washington Post on his Twitter account, [147] having "tweeted or retweeted criticism of the paper, tying it to Amazon more than 20 times since his campaign for president" by August 2018. [148] In addition to often attacking the paper itself, Trump has used Twitter to blast various Post journalists and columnists. [149]

During the 2020 Democratic Party presidential primaries, Senator Bernie Sanders repeatedly criticized the Washington Post, saying that its coverage of his campaign was slanted against him and attributing this to Jeff Bezos' purchase of the newspaper. [150] [151] Sanders' criticism was echoed by the socialist magazine Jacobin [152] and the progressive journalist watchdog Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. [153] Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron responded by saying that Sanders' criticism was "baseless and conspiratorial". [154]


Post Editor Bradlee Discusses 'Deep Throat' Revelation

"Here we were, meeting with this publisher that wanted to do a book with us," Bernstein says. "And we were talking about whether we were going to have to resign from the paper."

"You've got to remember that the stakes of this thing by now were so high that the president of the United States and his spokespeople almost every day were attacking The Washington Post for using innuendo and hearsay information," Bernstein says. "We had been assiduous and careful, and people were starting to really believe the stories we had written. And, boom, came this, and it looked like it could all be over."

But the investigation continued — and the book got published.

'Help Me. I Need Your Help'

Woodward says that the key to their reporting was the way they approached conversations with sources.

"This was a strategy that Carl developed: Go see these people at home at night when they're relaxed, when there are no press people around," Woodward says. "When the time is limitless to a certain extent and you're there saying, 'Help me. I need your help,' which are the most potent words in journalism. And people will kind of unburden themselves, or at least tell part of the story."

Over months of reporting, they pieced those partial stories together to reveal the sequence of events — without ever interviewing, or even meeting, the president at the heart of the conspiracy. Even in the years that followed, they never met Nixon.

Both men say that if they had the chance to ask Nixon one question, it would be a single word: "Why?" Why would a president who was heading for re-election anyway go to such extremes to win?

They suggest that Nixon already offered one answer to that question. "He even raises it himself in his farewell from the White House, [which] was so mesmerizing when you watched it," Bernstein says. "When you let your anger and hate rule you, that's when you do this terrible thing to yourself."

"And literally what he said is, 'Always remember. Others may hate you. But those who hate you don't win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself,' " Woodward remembers.

Nixon resigned 40 years ago this summer — less than two months after the publication of All the President's Men.


How a reporting mistake nearly derailed the Watergate investigation — and how journalists recovered

The Trump White House’s escalating attacks on the news media after a string of journalism errors this month resemble assaults by Richard Nixon’s administration against The Washington Post when it made a mistake in a story about Watergate.

The president’s recent attacks began when Brian Ross of ABC News incorrectly reported on Dec. 1 that Donald Trump told national security aide Michael Flynn to contact Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign. Four days later, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and other news outlets erred when they said that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III had subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for Trump’s financial records.

Then CNN mistakenly reported that Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son, knew in advance that WikiLeaks was going to release documents stolen from the Democratic National Committee. And Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel posted an inaccurate tweet on Dec. 9 about a Trump rally in Florida. In response, Trump demanded a retraction from “FAKE NEWS WaPo,” and press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused journalists of sometimes “purposely misleading the American people.” Even though Weigel readily apologized, Trump demanded that The Post fire him, which the paper declined to do.

These errors, and Trump’s eager celebration of them, recall a crucial moment when a reporting blunder almost stymied the most important political investigation in American media history — Watergate. After The Post made an embarrassing mistake in an October 1972 story about powerful White House Chief of Staff H.R. “Bob” Haldeman, press secretary Ronald Ziegler spent a half hour angrily denouncing the newspaper on behalf of the Nixon administration.

At the time, the Watergate scandal was drawing closer to Nixon’s inner circle, and the error became an opportunity for Nixon’s team to try to derail The Post’s investigation into widespread misconduct by his administration and reelection campaign.

And it almost worked. But the Post was able to recover by quickly figuring out what went wrong, making sure its reporters were careful to avoid similar mistakes and refusing to be intimidated by White House threats. Today’s journalists would do well to remember these lessons.

In the four months before the Haldeman story, Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein had made astonishing revelations about the involvement of people connected with the Nixon campaign and administration in burglary, domestic spying, evidence destruction and dirty tricks. As I explain in my book “Watergate’s Legacy and the Press: The Investigative Impulse,” they channeled the investigative spirit that had been building in journalism since the 1960s, as skepticism about government soared during the Vietnam War. And they used careful and relentless shoe-leather reporting to challenge the statements of the most powerful men in the country.

While most members of the Washington press corps focused on reporting the words of top officials, Bernstein and Woodward went to the homes of low-level campaign workers, coaxing them to share the truth about the actions of their bosses. The two reporters followed the trail of money that led to the top levels of the White House and Nixon’s campaign, slowly putting together the pieces of the scandal.

They were persistent, and they were right. As a result, they gained the trust of other sources who gave them additional information that gradually exposed the Watergate crimes to the public.

Nixon responded with an all-out assault against The Post, determined to undermine the newspaper’s credibility and weaken its finances. His aides pushed the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the tax returns of Post owner Katharine Graham and the paper’s lawyer, Edward Bennett Williams. Nixon also ordered his aides to “screw around” with the broadcasting licenses of two lucrative televisions stations owned by The Post.

And then The Post gave an administration all too happy to use dirty tricks an opening. It published the Haldeman story on Oct. 25, 1972, allowing Nixon’s staff to pounce on a small error to question publicly the paper’s credibility. Bernstein and Woodward wrote that Haldeman “was one of five high-ranking presidential associates authorized to approve payments from a secret Nixon campaign cash fund, according to federal investigators and accounts of sworn testimony before the Watergate grand jury.”

The fund had been used for sabotage and espionage against the president’s opponents, including payments to the men who burglarized the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters at the Watergate office complex, Bernstein and Woodward wrote. If Haldeman was guilty, then it was only a small step to connect the Watergate crimes to Nixon himself.

Although the main point of the story was true, Nixon’s aides jumped on the mistake: Bernstein and Woodward wrote that former Nixon campaign treasurer Hugh Sloan Jr. had testified before a grand jury about Haldeman’s control of the fund. Sloan had indeed told Bernstein and Woodward about Haldeman’s role, but he had not told the grand jury.

As Trump and his associates have done with articles about the Russia investigation, Ziegler and other Nixon spokesmen regularly denied the allegations contained in the stories of Bernstein, Woodward and other reporters. Former Post city editor Barry Sussman explained in his book, “The Great Cover-Up: Nixon and the Scandal of Watergate,” that the Haldeman story gave Nixon’s associates a specific error they could attack. Bernstein and Woodward had misinterpreted what Sloan, the former campaign treasurer, had said and had relied on the confused answers of an FBI agent to falsely conclude that Sloan had testified about Haldeman before the grand jury.

Nixon’s men used the error to disparage all of the newspaper’s Watergate reporting. At his news briefing that day, Ziegler accused The Post of engaging in “shoddy and shabby” journalism and called the article a “blatant effort at character assassination.” Clark MacGregor, director of Nixon’s reelection effort, charged that The Post was “operating in close philosophical and strategic cooperation” with the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern.


Contents

Bernstein was born to a secular Jewish family [3] [4] [5] in Washington, D.C., the son of Sylvia (née Walker) and Alfred Bernstein. [6] [7] Both his parents were civil rights activists and members of the Communist Party in the 1940s. [6] [7] He attended Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland, where he worked as circulation and exchange manager [8] for the school's newspaper Silver Chips. He began his journalism career at the age of 16 when he became a copyboy for The Washington Star and moved "quickly through the ranks." [2] The Star, however, unofficially required a college degree to write for the paper. Because he had dropped out of the University of Maryland (where he was a reporter for the school's independent daily, The Diamondback [9] ) and did not intend to finish, Bernstein left in 1965 to become a full-time reporter for the Elizabeth Daily Journal in New Jersey. [10] While there, he won first prize in New Jersey's press association for investigative reporting, feature writing, and news on a deadline. [2] In 1966, Bernstein left New Jersey and began reporting for The Washington Post, where he covered every aspect of local news and became known as one of the paper's best writing stylists. [11]

On a Saturday in June 1972, Bernstein was assigned, along with Bob Woodward, to cover a break-in at the Watergate office complex that had occurred earlier the same morning. Five burglars had been caught red-handed in the complex, where the Democratic National Committee had its headquarters one of them turned out to be an ex-CIA agent who did security work for the Republicans. In the series of stories that followed, Bernstein and Woodward eventually connected the burglars to a massive slush fund and a corrupt attorney general. Bernstein was the first to suspect that President Nixon was involved, and he found a laundered check that linked Nixon to the burglary. [12] Bernstein and Woodward's discoveries led to further investigations of Nixon, and on August 9, 1974, amid hearings by the House Judiciary Committee, Nixon resigned in order to avoid facing impeachment.

In 1974, two years after the Watergate burglary and two months before Nixon resigned, Bernstein and Woodward released the book All the President's Men. The book drew upon the notes and research accumulated while writing articles about the scandal for the Post and "remained on best-seller lists for six months." In 1975 it was turned into a movie starring Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein and Robert Redford as Woodward which later went on to be nominated in multiple Oscar (including Best Picture nomination), Golden Globe and BAFTA categories. [13] A second book, The Final Days, was published by Bernstein and Woodward in 1976 as a follow-up chronicling Nixon's last days in office. [14]

Bernstein left the Post in 1977 and expanded into other areas due to his reputation from the Watergate reporting. He joined broadcast news in a high growth period. He worked at ABC, CNN, and CBS as a political commentator, and was a spokesman in various television commercials. [15] He began investigating the secret cooperation between the CIA and American media during the Cold War. He spent a year in his research, which was published as a 25,000-word article in Rolling Stone magazine. [16]

He then began working for ABC News. Between 1980 and 1984, Bernstein was the network's Washington Bureau Chief and then a senior correspondent. In 1982, for ABC's Nightline, Bernstein was the first to report [ citation needed ] during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon that Ariel Sharon had "deceived the cabinet about the real intention of the operation—to drive the Palestinians out of Lebanon, not (as he had claimed) to merely establish a 25-kilometer security zone north from the border." [ citation needed ]

Two years after leaving ABC News, Bernstein released the book Loyalties: A Son's Memoir, in which he revealed that his parents had been members of the Communist Party of America. The assertion shocked some because even J. Edgar Hoover had tried and been unable to prove that Bernstein's parents had been party members. [12]

In 1992, also for Time, Bernstein wrote a cover story publicizing the alliance between Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan. Later, along with Vatican expert Marco Politi, he published a papal biography entitled His Holiness. Bernstein wrote in the 1996 book that the Pope's role in supporting Solidarity in his native Poland, and his geopolitical dexterity combined with enormous spiritual influence, was a principal factor in the downfall of communism in Europe. [17]

In 1992, Bernstein wrote a cover story for The New Republic magazine indicting modern journalism for its sensationalism and celebration of gossip over real news. The article was entitled "The Idiot Culture".

Bernstein's biography of Hillary Rodham Clinton, A Woman In Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton, was published by Alfred A. Knopf on June 5, 2007. Knopf had a first printing of 275,000 copies. It appeared on The New York Times Best Seller list for three weeks. [18] A CBS News end-of-year survey of publishing "hits and misses" included A Woman in Charge in the "miss" category and implied that its total sales were somewhere in the range of perhaps 55,000–65,000 copies. [19]

Bernstein is a frequent guest and analyst on television news programs, and in 2011 wrote articles for Newsweek/The Daily Beast, comparing Rupert Murdoch's News of the World phone-hacking scandal to Watergate. [20]

In 2012, Carl Bernstein spoke at a rally of People's Mujahedin of Iran, an opposition Iranian organization that had previously been listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States, reportedly receiving a payment for his speech. [21]

Bernstein has been married three times, first to a fellow reporter at The Washington Post, Carol Honsa then to writer and director Nora Ephron from 1976 to 1980 and since 2003 to the former model Christine Kuehbeck.

During his marriage to Ephron, Bernstein met Margaret Jay, daughter of British Prime Minister James Callaghan and wife of Peter Jay, then UK ambassador to the United States. They had a much-publicized extramarital relationship in 1979. Margaret later became a government minister in her own right. [22] Bernstein and second wife Ephron already had an infant son, Jacob, and she was pregnant with their second son, Max, in 1979 when she learned of her husband's affair with Jay. Ephron delivered Max prematurely after finding out. [23] Ephron was inspired by the events to write the 1983 novel Heartburn, [22] which was made into a 1986 film starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.

While single, in the 1980s, Bernstein became known for dating Bianca Jagger, Martha Stewart and Elizabeth Taylor, [12] among others.

Bernstein was portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in the film version of All the President's Men, [24] and by Bruce McCulloch in the 1999 comedy film Dick. [25]

Although they worked together to report the Watergate scandal to the world, Bernstein and Woodward had very different personalities. Raised in a traditional Republican household, Woodward was very well-educated and has been described as gentle. After graduating from Yale University, he joined the Washington Post nine months later, he was assigned the Watergate break-in story. On the other hand, Bernstein was born to a Communist Jewish family. He was rebellious, which led to him dropping out of college. He was ten months further along in his career than Woodward when the scandal broke out. [26]

They were also different in work styles. Woodward's strength was in investigation, so he focused on investigating the Watergate scandal. He met his Deep Throat source secretly to get as much information as possible. His writing was serious and matter-of-fact. However, Bernstein was the first of the pair to think that the Watergate case could be related to President Richard Nixon. Compared to Woodward, Bernstein was a strong writer, and therefore wrote articles based on Woodward's information from Deep Throat. [27] Due to their different styles, other journalists described them as a perfect team. Alicia Shepard said "Carl was the big thinker, and Woodward was the one that [made] sure it got done. [T]hey knew that each of them had strengths that the other didn't, and they relied on one another." [28]


Burglary, arrest, and limited immediate political effect

Early on June 17, 1972, police apprehended five burglars at the office of the DNC in the Watergate complex. Four of them formerly had been active in Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) activities against Fidel Castro in Cuba. (Though often referred to in the press as “Cubans,” only three of the four were of Cuban heritage.) The fifth, James W. McCord, Jr., was the security chief of the Committee to Re-elect the President (later known popularly as CREEP), which was presided over by John Mitchell, Nixon’s former attorney general. The arrest was reported in the next morning’s Washington Post in an article written by Alfred E. Lewis, Carl Bernstein, and Bob Woodward, the latter two a pair of relatively undistinguished young reporters relegated to unglamorous beats—Bernstein to roving coverage of Virginia politics and Woodward, still new to the Post, to covering minor criminal activities. Soon after, Woodward and Bernstein and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigators identified two coconspirators in the burglary: E. Howard Hunt, Jr., a former high-ranking CIA officer only recently appointed to the staff of the White House, and G. Gordon Liddy, a former FBI agent working as a counsel for CREEP. At the time of the break-in, Liddy had been overseeing a similar, though uncompleted, attempt to break into and surveil the headquarters of George S. McGovern, soon to become the Democratic nominee in the 1972 U.S. presidential election.

Presidential Press Secretary Ron Ziegler responded that the president would have no comment on a “third-rate burglary attempt.” The preponderance of early media reports, driven by a successful White House public relations campaign, claimed that there had been no involvement by the Nixon administration or the reelection committee. Meanwhile, the conspirators destroyed evidence, including their burglary equipment and a stash of $100 bills. Jeb Magruder, deputy director of CREEP, burned transcripts of wiretaps from an earlier break-in at the DNC’s offices. The president, his chief of staff, H.R. (Bob) Haldeman, and the special counsel to the president, Charles Colson, Nixon’s close political aide, spread alibis around Washington. Meanwhile, the White House arranged for the “disappearance” to another country of Hunt (who never actually left the United States), part of a plan for the burglars to take the fall for the crime as overzealous anticommunist patriots. On June 23, 1972, the president, through channels, ordered the FBI to tamp down its investigation. Later, this order, revealed in what became known as the Nixon tapes (Nixon’s secret recordings of his phone calls and conversations in the Oval Office), became the “smoking gun” proving that the president had been part of a criminal cover-up from the beginning.

Throughout the 1972 campaign season, Woodward and Bernstein were fed leaks by an anonymous source they referred to as “Deep Throat,” who, only some 30 years later, was revealed to be FBI deputy director W. Mark Felt, Sr. They kept up a steady stream of scoops demonstrating (1) the direct involvement of Nixon intimates in Watergate activities, (2) that the Watergate wiretapping and break-in had been financed through illegally laundered campaign contributions, and, in a blockbuster October 10 front-page article, (3) that “the Watergate bugging incident stemmed from a massive campaign of political spying and sabotage conducted on behalf of President Nixon’s re-election and directed by officials of the White House,” part of “a basic strategy of the Nixon re-election effort.”

Nevertheless, the White House successfully framed Woodward and Bernstein’s reporting as the obsession of a single “liberal” newspaper pursuing a vendetta against the president of the United States. Shortly before the election, CBS News prepared a lengthy two-part television report synthesizing the scandal’s emerging ties to the White House. However, after the first segment aired on October 27, Colson threatened CBS’s president, William Paley, and the second segment was truncated. Newspapers that were sympathetic to Nixon hardly mentioned Watergate at all. In an election eve Gallup Poll, respondents overwhelmingly said that they trusted Nixon more than Democratic candidate McGovern. Nixon was reelected in a historic landslide—winning all but Massachusetts and the District of Columbia—and embarked on what looked to be a dynamic second term.


Read the Advice Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein Gave at the White House Correspondents' Dinner

P ulitzer Prize-winning journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, known for uncovering former President Richard Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate scandal, have a message for President Donald Trump &mdash the media is not fake.

The two iconic journalists offered guidance Saturday to reporters amid an increasingly bitter relationship between the Trump Administration and the press at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in Washington, D.C. The annual event was the first in decades that a president has skipped. Trump instead held a campaign-style rally in Pennsylvania to mark the 100th day of his presidency.

But while Trump was not in attendance, Woodward still spoke directly to him: “Mr. President, the media is not fake news,” he said.

The dogged duo used their experience uncovering the Watergate scandal to implore journalists to focus on their work now more than ever. “Our job is to put the best obtainable version of the truth out there, period,” he added. “Especially now.”

Read Bernstein and Woodward’s full speeches below:

Shortly after Richard Nixon resigned the presidency, Bob and I were asked a long question about reporting. We answered with a short phrase we&rsquove used many times since to describe our reporting on Watergate and its purpose and methodology: we called it the best obtainable version of the truth.

The best obtainable version of the truth.

It&rsquos a simple concept, yet something very difficult to get right because of the enormous amount of effort, thinking, persistence, pushback, logical baggage and, for sure, luck that is required, not to mention some unnatural humility.

Underlying everything reporters do in pursuit of the best obtainable version of the truth, whatever our beat or assignment, is the question &ldquowhat is news?&rdquo What is it that we believe is important, relevant, hidden, perhaps, or even in plain sight and ignored by conventional journalistic wisdom or governmental wisdom?

I&rsquod say this question of &ldquowhat is news&rdquo becomes even more relevant and essential if we are covering the president of the United States. Richard Nixon tried to make the conduct of the press the issue in Watergate, instead of the conduct of the president and his men. We tried to avoid the noise and let the reporting speak.

During our coverage of Watergate and since, Bob and I have learned a lot from one another about the business of being reporters.

Let me list here a few of the primary elements of Bernstein&rsquos repertorial education from Woodward: one, almost inevitably, unreasonable government secrecy is the enemy, and usually the giveaway about what the real story might be. And when lying is combined with secrecy, there is usually a pretty good roadmap in front of us.

Yes, follow the money, but follow, also, the lies.

Two, sources are human beings whom we need to listen to and empathize with, and understand&mdashnot objectify simply as the means to get a story. We need to go back to our sources, time and again, over and over. The best obtainable version of the truth is about context and nuance, even more than it&rsquos about simple existential facts. The development and help of &ldquoDeep Throat,&rdquo Mark Felt, as a source was a deeply human enterprise.

When we were working on our second book, The Final Days, Woodward did 17 interviews with Richard Nixon&rsquos White House lawyer. Sustained inquiry is essential. You never know what the real story is until you&rsquove done the reporting, as Woodward says, exhaustively. Gone back over and over to our sources&mdashasked ourselves and them, what&rsquos missing? What&rsquos the further explanation? What are the details? What do they think it means?

Our assumption of the big picture isn&rsquot enough. Our preconceived notions of where the story might go are almost always different than where the story comes out when we&rsquove done the reporting. I know of no important story I&rsquove worked on in more than half a century of reporting that ended up where I thought it would go when I started on it.

The people with the information we want should not be pigeonholed or prejudged by their ideology or their politics&mdashalmost all of our sources in Watergate were people who had, at one time or another, been committed to Richard Nixon and his presidency.

Incremental reporting is essential.

We wrote more than 300 stories in Watergate. Whenever I&rsquod say &ldquolet&rsquos go for the big picture, the whole enchilada&rdquo or whatever, Bob would say, &ldquohere&rsquos what we know now, and are ready to put in the paper.&rdquo

And then, inevitably, one story led to another and another, and the larger talk expanded because of this reportorial dynamic. The best obtainable version of the truth became repeatedly clearer, more developed and understandable.

We&rsquore reporters&mdashnot judges, not legislators. What government or citizens or judges do with the information we&rsquove developed is not part of our process, or our objective. Our job is to put the best obtainable version of the truth out there, period.

Especially now.

BOB WOODWARD:

I am honored to be standing here with Carl, who has over the decades taught me so much about journalism. As he said, reporting is about human connections&mdashfinding the people who know what is hidden and establishing relationships of trust.

That was the first lesson, from Carl, in 1972. He obtained a list of people who had worked at Nixon&rsquos reelection campaign committee. Not surprisingly, from a former girlfriend.

He&rsquos finally embarrassed.

No one would talk. Carl said, &ldquohere&rsquos what we have to do&rdquo&mdashlaunching the system of going to the homes of people, knocking on doors when we had no appointment. We later wrote, &ldquothe nighttime visits were, frankly, fishing expeditions.&rdquo The trick was getting inside someone&rsquos apartment or house. Bits and pieces came we saw fear, at times. We heard about document destruction, a massive house-cleaning at the Nixon reelection committee, a money trail, an organized, well-funded coverup.

Clark MacGregor, then the Nixon campaign manager, called Ben Bradlee, the editor of the Washington Post, to complain., MacGregor reported, &ldquothey knock on doors late at night and telephone from the lobby. They hounded five women!&rdquo

Bradlee&rsquos response: &ldquoThat&rsquos the nicest thing I&rsquove heard about them in years!&rdquo

And he meant, maybe ever.

In 1973, I recall standing on Pennsylvania Avenue with Carl after a court hearing. We watched three of the Watergate burglars and their lawyer filling a cab, front and back seats. Carl was desperate&mdashdesperate that he would lose them and this opportunity., He was short on cash and didn&rsquot know where he might be going. I gave Carl twenty dollars.

There was no room in the cab, but Carl, uninvited, got in anyway, piling in on top of these people as the door slammed. He ended up flying with the lawyer to New York City and came back with another piece of the puzzle.

I never got my $20.

The point: very aggressive reporting is often necessary. Bradlee and the editors of the Washington Post gave us the precious luxury of time to pursue all leads, all people who might know something&mdasheven something small.,

Now, in 2017, the impatience and speed of the internet and our own rush can disable and undermine the most important tool of journalism: that method that luxury of time to inquire, to pursue, to find the real agents of genuine news, witnesses, participants, documents, into the cab.

Any president and his administration in Washington is clearly entitled to the most serious reporting efforts possible. We need to understand, to listen, to dig. Obviously, our reporting needs to get both facts and tone right. The press, especially the so-called mainstream media, comes under regular attack, particularly during presidential campaigns like this one, and its aftermath.

Like politicians and presidents, sometimes, perhaps too frequently, we make mistakes and go too far. When that happens, we should own up to it. But the effort today to get this best obtainable version of the truth is largely made in good faith.

Mr. President, the media is not fake news.

Let&rsquos take that off the table as we proceed.

As Marty Baron, the executive editor of the Post, said in recent speeches, reporters should display modesty and humility, bending over backwards and sincerely, not only to be fair but to demonstrate to people we cover that we intend and will be fair.

In other words, that we have an obligation to listen.

At the same time, Marty said, &ldquowhen we have done our job thoroughly, we have a duty to tell people what we&rsquove learned, and to tell it to them forthrightly, without masking our findings or muddling them.&rdquo

Journalists should not have a dog in the political fight except to find that best obtainable version of the truth. The indispensable centrality of fact-based reporting is careful, scrupulous listening and an open mind.

President Nixon once said the problem with journalists is that they look in the mirror when they should be looking out the window. That is certainly one thing that Nixon said that Carl and I agree with.

Whatever the climate, whether the media&rsquos revered or reviled, we should and must persist, and, I believe, we will.

We also need to face the reality that polling numbers should that most Americans disapprove of and distrust the media. This is no time for self-satisfaction or smugness. But as Ben Bradlee said in 1997, twenty years ago, &ldquothe most aggressive our search for truth, the more some people are offended by the press. So be it.&rdquo

Ben continued: &ldquoI take great strange knowing that in my experience, the truth does emerge. It takes forever sometimes, but it does emerge, and that any relaxation by the press will be extremely costly to democracy.&rdquo

Carl and I are grandfathers, perhaps great-grandfathers in American journalism, but we can see that the three journalists that we are recognizing tonight are some of the finest examples of that craft of persistence.


All the President's Men

In what must be the most devastating political detective story of the century, two young Washington Post reporters whose brilliant investigative journalism smashed the Watergate scandal wide open tell the whole behind-the-scenes drama the way it really happened.

The story begins with a burglary at Democratic National Committee headquarters on June 17, 1972. Bob Woodward, who was then working on the Washington Post's District of Columbia staff, was called into the office on a Saturday morning to cover the story. Carl Bernstein, a Virginia political reporter on the Post, was also assigned. The two men soon learned that this was not a simple burglary.

Following lead after lead, Woodward and Bernstein picked up a trail of money, secrecy and high-level pressure that led to the Oval Office and implicated the men closest to Richard Nixon and then the President himself. Over the months, Woodward met secretly with Deep Throat, now perhaps America's most famous still-anonymous source.

Here is the amazing story. From the first suspicions through the tortuous days of reporting and finally getting people to talk, the journalists were able to put the pieces of the puzzle together and produce the stories that won the Post a Pulitzer Prize. All the President's Men is the inside story of how Bernstein and Woodward broke the story that brought about the President's downfall. This is the reporting that changed the American presidency.


After 30 years, the scoop on Woodward and Bernstein

THIS year marks the 30th anniversary of the movie “All the President’s Men,” starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as investigative reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, respectively. The movie made Woodward and Bernstein forever famous and has become a classic. It still runs on television, is played widely in journalism schools and often is used as shorthand in high schools to teach about one of the most corrupt times in U.S. politics.

Although the movie is the result of Redford’s determination to get it made as the Watergate story unfolded, its authenticity and endurance have everything to do with its director, Alan J. Pakula, who morphed into a Sigmund Freud with notepad before any camera rolled. His detailed notes, first made public in December 2005, were donated by his wife to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after his death in 1998 in an automobile accident. They show how Pakula came to view his protagonists.

In January 1975, five months after President Nixon had resigned, Pakula flew to Washington to begin in-depth interviews with a dozen of the principals involved in unraveling the Watergate tale. He sat down with Woodward, then 32, Bernstein, then 31, their editors, their friends and the two women at the center of the reporters’ lives. Woodward had married reporter Francie Barnard, and Bernstein was dating Nora Ephron, whom he married on April 14, 1976 -- 10 days after the movie debuted in Washington.

Pakula didn’t want facts alone. He wanted to understand Woodward and Bernstein deeply so he could capture their true characters and motivations for the movie. Ben Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post during Watergate, told me that Pakula spent “so much time with each of us. He knew all about my mother, brother -- everything.” (Jason Robards, who played Bradlee, is on screen only 10 minutes.)

During Watergate, no matter how well Bernstein reported the story, he was pegged by Post editors as the “bad boy” of the duo -- always late, unreliable and quick to hype his leads. In her interview with Pakula, Ephron tried to rehabilitate her boyfriend’s reputation. She said Bernstein was driven to uncover the Watergate story because he wanted to prove everyone at the Post wrong. He was not lazy, she insisted. He just had a “psychosis” about being controlled by authority figures.

The notes from Pakula’s interview with Ephron reveal a key to his understanding of Woodward and Bernstein. “Underneath all the arguments and fights -- way down, they hated each other,” Pakula wrote. “The qualities that each other had -- the qualities that they needed [to report Watergate] -- they didn’t like. Bob’s sucking up to people. Carl knew he needed [that quality] but despised it in Bob. Bob needed Carl because Carl was pushy. Bob can formulate and Carl can draw conclusions.”

One story that Ephron shared with Pakula concerned how the two reporters sparred as they raced to complete the book “All the President’s Men.” Woodward, she told the director, could be “so stubborn and bullheaded” and had “no instinct for writing.” When Ephron and Bernstein were in Martinique on vacation, Woodward and Bernstein fought on the telephone, to the tune of a $400 bill, about verb tenses.

Pakula’s notes, dated May 2, 1975, indicate that he’d concluded this about the two reporters:

* Bob thought Carl was “hype, no follow-through. All talk. Bull---- artist. Irresponsible.”

* Carl saw Bob as “a machine. He’s a reporter doll. Give him a story, any story, and he runs with it. A drone. No humor. No surprises. All stability. White bread. Mr. Perfect. No soul.”

Pakula gradually realized that neither Woodward nor Bernstein could have pulled off Watergate alone. Despite their stark differences, they needed each another. Each had strengths that complemented the other’s.

“Bernstein could be right intuitively -- but dangerous left to himself,” Pakula wrote in his notes. “Woodward cautiously would have to go from one step literally to another. And yet it was Bernstein’s daring that was necessary.”

But in his interview with Woodward, Pakula discovered that the reporter could surprise: Other people’s secrets fascinated and obsessed him. Although Woodward was reluctant to talk about himself as a reporter, he was determined to expose other people’s secrets. The dichotomy intrigued Pakula.

But as Pakula began to understand Woodward, he wondered if the charming, handsome Redford, then 39, could play someone so different from himself. Woodward moved logically. His unfounded fear of being fired and his need to belong fueled his workaholic lifestyle.

Pakula wrote that Redford would have to “scrap his charm. It’s that square, straight, intense, decent quality of Woodward’s that works. Redford can get that compulsive drive. Can he get the hurt and vulnerability?”

Throughout filming in 1975, if there was a question on how Woodward or Bernstein might react, Redford or Hoffman or Pakula called either man. “It was the first film I ever made like this,” Hoffman told me. “We kept trying to adhere to the authenticity of what happened by almost talking to them on a daily basis.”

Whenever they could, Woodward and Bernstein visited the sets. One midnight in June 1975, Bernstein watched as Pakula directed a scene. Hoffman was running down an empty street, chasing after Redford’s gray Volvo as it pulled out of the Post parking lot. He yelled, “Stop! . Woodward! Stop!”

Bernstein recalled in a 1975 interview, now in Pakula’s archive, that “big crowds were outside. I got there just as Hoffman broke from the building. It was one of the most incredible feelings that I’ve had in my life because, you know, it had been a long time since we had started to work on the story, and I didn’t exactly know who I was or who he was -- existentially, it was sort of a total mind----. He had the mannerisms. You’re not used to seeing your actions. Yet I knew that he was right.”

As Hoffman ran, Bernstein, already a celebrity, understood how much had happened in the three years since five burglars broke into the Democratic Party headquarters at the Watergate hotel.

“I’m not really like that anymore,” Bernstein said in the interview. “That happened a long time ago. Would I run like that again?”


Watch the video: Trump Org Probe Heats Up As More Staffers Testify