Thursday, October 21, 2004

Career Advice from Ben Bradlee 

Courtesy of Zemblan patriot K.Z.: Ben Bradlee, who was editor of the Washington Post when Woodward and Bernstein broke the Watergate scandal, says in characteristically blunt terms what we all know to be true -- that when it comes to covering all the President's malefactions, the Fourth Estate just ain't what it used to be:
He says US President George W. Bush is a liar. Journalists should stop dancing around the issue and name Bush for what he is, the ever surly Bradlee says in a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview. Bradlee also bemoans a worsening Washington climate in which politicians regularly hide behind lies - his favorite being that they can't discuss an issue "on the grounds of national security." Nixon used that line, too, Brandlee says. Bradlee admonishes reporters at both the Washington Post and the New York Times to get a backbone and to do more homework. Journalists today should not only question what politicians say but also their motivation, he says. He faults both news biggies for not asking enough questions before the Iraq war broke out and for not investing enough time or money into researching tough-to-get stories. Calling Clinton a liar was easy, Bradlee says. With Bush, the trail is less transparent.
If you speak German, you can read the full interview here.

If you scroll down from the Bradlee story linked above, you'll find an interesting item called "Is Germany a Swing State?" There are 200,000 American voters in Germany, and with the election less than two weeks away many of them have yet to receive their absentee ballots.

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