Ben Bradlee Died Yesterday – Journalism Died Years Ago


From the Washington Post:

Mr. Bradlee called reporters “the best lie detectors,” and nothing mattered more to him than exposing the truth, even if it took a long time. In his own account, the Vietnam War and then Watergate marked a crisis of confidence in American society, brought on by leaders who did not level with the people. In the Pentagon Papers, excerpts of which he published despite government threats, Mr. Bradlee saw proof that the American people had not been told the truth about decisions made to escalate the war. Then came Watergate and his determination to find out what really happened. He was outraged at President Nixon’s behavior. Nixon “lied over and over again with intent to deceive the American public and thereby save his ass from the consequences of his crimes,” Mr. Bradlee wrote in his memoir. The newspaper won global recognition for coverage that led to the president’s resignation, but the lesson for journalists was in Mr. Bradlee’s fusion of doggedness, fearlessness and professionalism.

To the extent that the above passage was true, it is certainly not true anymore. When Bradlee ran WaPo reporters were not highly-paid celebrities. Journalism was a blue-collar job. Journalists didn’t socialize with politicians, and they didn’t alternate between getting paid to report the news and getting paid to spin it.

Journalism is dead. It is ironic that so many current faux-journalists were inspired by the investigative reporting of Watergate because if Watergate happened today they would be complicit in covering it up.


About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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121 Responses to Ben Bradlee Died Yesterday – Journalism Died Years Ago

  1. The Klown says:

    Once upon a time I wanted to be a journalist. When I first started college I signed up for journalism classes but then the college dropped that program so I switched to history as my major.

    • Lulu says:

      I wanted to be an honest bureaucrat. All that did was get me in trouble.

      • votermom says:

        What were you thinking! 🙂

      • driguana says:

        Wow, I can sure relate to that. I just retired 3 years ago after 35 years in the public sector in very political job situations…Land Use Administrator, Planning and Development Director etc. When I retired, someone asked me, “how is it that you lasted so long in such a hot seat?” My response was that during those years I never voted in a local election nor donated a dime to anyone’s campaign and, therefore, could never be beholden to any politician. And I always followed the rules and treated everyone the same…that’s what frequently got me in hot water…but I lasted. Now, I am very happy to be away from all that.

  2. votermom says:

    Watergate is nothing compared to the string of scandals in the past 6 years.

  3. Lulu says:

    Ben Bradlee and Katherine Graham hung out with politicians all the time. Bradlee the old goat was a drinking and womanizing crony of JFK. What was remarkable is that they decided to take on Nixon. They still covered their asses though with the ability to can their reporters if it “didn’t work out” and hedged their bets which is not a stupid thing to do. Irregardless considering their financial, social, and political positions they took on the Nixon admin and Repubs on anyway. It all could have ruined them if Nixon prevailed. It would never happen now which is why journalism is dead as a business model. The bigger the industry the more risk adverse they become so it is dying slowly and pitifully.

  4. driguana says:

    RIP also to Tim Hauser, one of the founding members of the vocal group The Manhattan Transfer.
    Losing great journalists and great musicians.
    This was one of my favorite MT tunes…a reworking of the old Videos classic…

  5. DeniseVB says:

    Obama is the kind of President that Nixon wanted to be. Thanks “journalism” .

  6. HELENK3 says:

    special forces letter to politicians.
    this letter is long but very powerful and should be read and go viral

  7. DeniseVB says:

    Here’s that sound bite of Obama on the Al Sharpton radio show:

    How I heard it, go LIE YOUR ASS off, whatever it takes to get elected.

    • Lulu says:

      It was one of the scummier things I have ever heard a pol say. They do it all the time but usually are not stupid enough to blab it. He is either epically stupid or spiteful. I am leaning towards spiteful since the “Ernest” said to the effect that the Senators are on their own for turnout and it is their problem. I have never even heard of a political party head, which Bronco is since he transferred the DNC to Chicago, treat candidates this way. Never. He is showing his ass and the degree of passive aggressive crap he is pulling should make the party turn on him. I doubt they will but they should. They deserve him.

    • foxyladi14 says:

      Like he did to Canada about Nafta in 08 👿

  8. HELENK3 says:

    anybody remember back in the day when you did not know what a journalist’s political beliefs were?

  9. HELENK3 says:

    Journalism died when more and more independent news outlets were bought by conglomerates. In the late 60s and early 70s I worked for the Phila Inquirer. At that time there were several newspapers in the city with different owners and points of view. Now there is not.
    A few companies own newspapers, tv stations, even some internet blogs this restricts what get published and just what spin to put on stories.

    • HELENK3 says:

      I think of journalism like a garden hose. When the sprayer is on high the spray covers more area. As you lower the sprayer less and less area covered. That is what is happening with journalism

      • 49erDweet says:

        I think of journalism as like Turkey poop. If it’s all ground up in small bits and spread around it’s barely noticeable and makes things grow well. If it’s bunched up and saying “Look at me”, it stinks.

  10. driguana says:

    Journalism is as much of an art form as it is a craft. So many of the old school journalists were artists in their craft. Good journalism is certainly about factual reporting but it also has elements of style, perfection, confidence and a belief in what you are doing is the best you can do. I wrote for a number of years for numerous publications in Santa Fe but chose to focus only on music and city planning subjects, two things I knew a bit abut and felt confident in writing about. Trouble for me was that journalism really didn’t pay very well.

  11. DeniseVB says:

    From the liberal National Journal that want’s us to think they’re nonpartisan now 😉

    • Lulu says:

      I think there is going to be a lot of that coming up. Too late! It is essentially a business decision. You jump too late and you miss out. NJ is a couple of years too late. The publishers are looking at the numbers for conservative publications and websites and seeing dollar signs but they are too late and can only expect a few crumbs.

    • HELENK3 says:

      bummer. too late now.
      they bought him in 2008 and again in 2012. In 2014 he is all theirs

  12. DeniseVB says:

    Oh NOES, not again. Feds making it easier to buy a house again. How did that work out last time? They should make it harder ! Ugh.

    • Lulu says:

      Remember this how Obama got his start on the gravy train. They are going to be trying to run the scams one more time before he is out.

    • leslie says:

      Of course! this should guarantee Democrat votes. LIV will think they have to vote D so Congress will continue to make the American dream (racist though it may be) possible for them.

    • 49erDweet says:

      The refi ads are worse than ever right now. Got to keep those mortgage houses busy churning paperwork, otherwise they might get restless and jump to another politician.

      • DeniseVB says:

        And those Reverse Mortgages are a piece of crap too. They pry on older homeowners who are lucky enough to have equity in their homes. I think that’s why they’re making it harder to take out Equity Lines of Credit (2nd Mortgages). We use that for major purchases like a car or major home improvements like a new 2-zone HVAC system. It feels like we’re paying ourselves back, though the bank keeps the interest.

  13. piper says:

    A good laugh so needed in these days of non-stop political tv ads. The real Supreme Court

  14. HELENK3 says:

    Shooting at Canadian government bldg. ongoing now

  15. HELENK3 says:

    here is my just because for today.
    remember when?????

  16. DeniseVB says:

    WoW ! James O’Keefe is certainly a Master “Baiter” isn’t he 😉 Twitchy’s go his latest video and transcript ……

  17. gram cracker says:

    As Lulu wrote above, Ben Bradlee, his wife Toni, and Katherine and Philip Graham hung out with politicians all the time. The DC tidal basin and Georgetown Foggy Bottom areas are one big incestual swamp. The Grahams and Bradlee withheld publishing damning information that President Kennedy was suspected of using LSD in the White House with one of his mistresses who just happened to be Bradlee’s sister-in-law!

    “During the summer of 1954 John and Jackie Kennedy bought a house near that of high ranking covert CIA agent Cord and Mary Pinchot Meyer. Mary’s sister Toni married Ben Bradlee in 1955. Pinchot Meyer visited John F. Kennedy at the White House in October 1961 and their relationship became intimate. Pinchot Meyer told her friends Ann and (WaPo reporter) James Truitt she was keeping a diary. Mary Pinchot Meyer and John F. Kennedy reportedly had “about 30 trysts” and at least one author has claimed she brought marijuana or LSD to almost all of these meetings.

    In January 1963, Philip Graham disclosed the Kennedy-Pinchot Meyer affair to a meeting of newspaper editors but his claim was not reported by the news media.

    In 1983, former Harvard University psychology lecturer Timothy Leary claimed that in the spring of 1962, Pinchot Meyer told Leary she was taking part in a plan to avert worldwide nuclear war by convincing powerful male members of the Washington establishment to take mind-altering drugs, which would presumably lead them to conclude that the Cold War was meaningless.

    According to Leary, Meyer had sought him out for the purpose of learning how to conduct LSD sessions with these powerful men, including, she strongly implied, President John F. Kennedy, who was then her lover. According to Leary, Pinchot Meyer said she had shared in this plan with at least seven other Washington socialite friends who held similar political views and were trying to supply LSD to a small circle of high ranking government officials. Leary also claimed that Pinchot Meyer had asked him for help while in a state of fear for her own life after the assassination of President Kennedy.

    On October 12, 1964, Pinchot Meyer finished a painting and went for a walk along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal towpath in Georgetown. Mechanic Henry Wiggins was trying to fix a car on Canal Road and heard a woman cry out, “Someone help me, someone help me.”
    Pinchot Meyer’s body had two bullet wounds, one at the back of the head and another in her heart. An FBI forensic expert later said “dark haloes on the skin around both entry wounds suggested they had been fired at close-range, possibly point-blank”.”

    Now don’t you feel better about our government and the fourth estate’s cozy relationship?

  18. HELENK3 says:

    2 new victims en route to Ottawa hospital; 1 shot, both in non-life-threatening condition, hospital says – @MICHAELCTV, @CBCOttawa
    see original on

  19. fif says:

    The Democratic Panic

    The panicky Democratic flight away from President Obama — and from some of the party’s most important positions — is not a surprise. Mr. Obama remains highly unpopular among white voters, particularly in Southern states where candidates like Ms. Nunn, Ms. Grimes and several others are struggling to establish leads. But one of the reasons for his unpopularity is that nervous members of his own party have done a poor job of defending his policies over the nearly six years of his presidency, allowing a Republican narrative of failure to take hold.

    *Note the dog whistles: “White voters.” ie: anyone who doesn’t support hims is racist, and it’s not that he has been an abject failure, it’s that they didn’t EXPLAIN it well enough! The NY Times, R.I.P.

    • DeniseVB says:

      Have you seen the ad that shows a real lynching and saying this is what will happen to you if you vote Republican. Weren’t those Dems ?

      • Constance says:

        Why doesn’t that Reince guy stand up and say Republicans are sick of Democrat BS and lay out the facts about how Republicans have acted on their value of equality. Take out some ads to lay out real Republican values.

  20. DeniseVB says:

    Klown started it ! You know what to do 🙂

  21. The Klown says:

    Potty-Mouthed Princesses Drop F-Bombs For Feminism:

    • 49erDweet says:

      That so sad. Nothing says “Women are strong” like wallowing in a verbal pig pen.

      • votermom says:

        Where is CPS?
        Kids are taken away from Ayan Nation parents because they are being taught to hate other races — these girls are being taught to hate half the human race.

    • DeniseVB says:

      The Five showed it with bleeps, then proceeded to ask the parents (who refused to be interviewed for the segment) WTF ? They also challenged the New Feminists to condemn it for exploiting young girls like this for profit.

  22. HELENK3 says:

    single transferable vote

  23. The Klown says:

    Good news:

    Ignoring the chants of protesters on the block where a police officer was killed and the cause célèbre of Mumia Abu-Jamal was born, Gov. Tom Corbett signed into law Tuesday a measure he said would curb the “obscene celebrity” cultivated by convicts at the expense of victims.

    The law allows prosecutors or crime victims to seek an injunction when an offender’s conduct “perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime,” including causing a temporary or permanent state of “mental anguish.”

    The measure won unanimous approval in the state legislature last week after Abu-Jamal, serving a life sentence for the 1981 shooting death of Officer Daniel Faulkner, delivered a pre-recorded commencement address earlier this month to 21 graduates of tiny Goddard College in Vermont.

    “This unrepentant cop killer has tested the limits of decency,” Corbett said from a portable stage, flanked by uniformed officers and photographs of Faulkner. “Gullible activists and celebrities have continued to feed this killer’s ego.”


    • Falstaff says:

      I can’t see how this will survive a 1st Ammendment challenge, unless the SC rules that convicted felons have lost their protection under the Ammendment. Even a scumbag like Mumia gets to say stuff freely.

      • 49erDweet says:

        It’s the “perpetuates the continuing effects of the crime” bit that let’s a conviction trump the first, most likely. A convicted criminal might be free to speak on any other issue, but not allowed to verbally recommit the crime over and over.

  24. HELENK3 says:

    Canadian press conference on now

  25. HELENK3 says:

    it is bad enough that you can’t take me anywhere because I spill things, now I just spilled a whole glass of iced tea on a tan rug

  26. DeniseVB says:

    Well, d’oh……

  27. driguana says:

    Seems like every week now there is some kind of new disaster…many blind siding us from seemingly out of nowhere. 5 months ago who would have thought that the impoverished West African nation of Liberia would be in the news every day!! Most Americans don’t even know the difference between Libya and Liberia!

  28. votermom says:

    U.N.C. Investigation Reveals ‘Shadow Curriculum’ to Help Athletes
    CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — A blistering report into an academic fraud scandal at the University of North Carolina released Wednesday found that for nearly two decades two employees in the African and Afro-American Studies department ran a “shadow curriculum” of hundreds of fake classes that never met but for which students, many of them Tar Heels athletes, routinely received A’s and B’s.

    Nearly half the students in the classes were athletes, the report found, often deliberately steered there by academic counselors to bolster their worrisomely low grade-point averages and to allow them to continue playing on North Carolina’s teams. The existence of the classes — though not necessarily how blatantly nonexistent they were — was common knowledge among the academic counselors, and in some cases among coaches of the university’s sports teams, according to the report prepared by Kenneth L. Wainstein, a former official at the United States Justice Department and now a partner of the law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft

  29. leslie says:

    So last week TehWon was here tying up rush hour traffic. Now it’s Biden doing the same. I didn’t know we had that much money to throw away in this area.

  30. HELENK3 says:

    another one just jumped the white house fence. just announced on FOX

  31. DeniseVB says:

    Our friend just called us, Giants will take it in 5. This is our friend:

    I’ll recuse myself now 😀

  32. 1539days says:

    I have a history question for Klown or anyone else. Back in the 60’s and 70’s, a number of Arab / Muslim countries embraced Western culture, even if they were still essentially monarchies run by royal families. Does anyone have a theory as to why so many of these places started to revert to theocracy (and eventually terrorism) in the late 70’s into today?

    • 49erDweet says:

      IMO they were “royalty”, not Imams, seeking admission to the good graces of the successful, money-making world leading (at the time) countries. It was an act, fully supported by passages in the Quran, to ingratiate themselves with the PTB. No longer necessary.

  33. mothy67 says:

    Pissed off in a big way. Third grade kid has to read a story once a week and answer a bunch of questions. Poor Uma and her family boarded a boat to come to America. Uma had to change her name because the ignorant Americans might shun her with her ethnic name.(isn’t everyone ethnic) One of the questions was what do you “THINK” the first thing Uma and her family will do? A) sit on a bench B) learn English C) Explore NYC. My kid chose learn English. Marked wrong. Question was what do you think. Telling my kid what to think. Every assignment is full of America bashing. Harriett Tubman, Rosa Parks, Julio and family.

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