Duration: 21.45 seconds
"If you start questioning what the government is saying, you jeopardize -- you could end up jeopardizing your readership, your viewership ratings, your access to official sources." There were all sorts of considerations, I think, that went into the -- contributing to this failure.
Duration: 20.09 seconds
I've gone back and re-read virtually every speech that Vice-President Cheney's made, that the President has made, that Colin Powell has made -- news conferences -- white papers. There's a lot out there that you can do without having to develop secret sources and getting people to leak documents to you.
Duration: 10.94 seconds
A lot of the mainstream press has gotten fat and lazy. And they've gotten to a point where they have assumed that they're just going to be given stuff.
Duration: 13.65 seconds
They've gotten used to being given stuff -- Because this is the way this town works, "Oh, you know, I've got something coming out. I'll leak it to so-and-so, and they'll put it in the paper and it'll get a lot of attention. And then we'll have -- We'll have more people at our news conference."
Duration: 12.21 seconds
A lot of very large media -- television and newspapers -- have just gotten used to getting handouts, and therefore have lost the fire in the belly.
Duration: 28.16 seconds
In our case, we didn't have access to the senior officials that these other large media have had -- do have. And it required us to scramble. But it was good in a way, because we were able to sort of go below their level -- to the level where there wasn't this political agenda -- where people were truly bothered by what was going on -- and find people who were willing to talk to us.
Duration: 9.31 seconds
We have the two source rule here, which is, "You get something. You gotta get a second source on it -- at least a second source."
Duration: 8.84 seconds
The US coverage tended to be quite reverential towards the administration in a way the British press wasn't.
Duration: 19.82 seconds
I think to a certain extent, there's a way in which American reporters -- reflecting an American population -- still believes in some way that if the information comes from the administration -- or from an administration agency -- then it has inherent worth.
Duration: 20.05 seconds
In Britain, the power balance between the press -- the national press and the government is very much more weighted towards the national press than it is here. There's much more dependence among American correspondents for access than there is in Britain --
Duration: 15.78 seconds
The British newspapers -- national newspapers can take the risk of really launching an aggressive attack on the government knowing that sooner or later, the government has to come back and talk to them again. And that it's in the interest of the government to come back and talk to that newspaper again.
Duration: 11.01 seconds
In the US, among correspondents on different beats -- in the Pentagon or the White House or whatever agency / department -- there's a fear of being frozen out.
Duration: 10.54 seconds
And that fear is always an inhibiting factor on the reporting of journalists who are assigned those particular beats.
Duration: 25.29 seconds
It may be because I didn't have much access to the inner corridors of power. I didn't get called in to Langley for briefings or the White House for briefings. I had to go elsewhere and talk to more people on the fringes who had a completely different view. And that pointed me into directions that maybe -- if you'd gone to the briefings and got official briefings from senior officials, you wouldn't be pointed in that direction.
Duration: 9.11 seconds
Now -- If I had the official briefings, I might not have been pointed in that way. But in a way, it was a result of being outside the loop.
Duration: 22.16 seconds
But on top of that instinctive reaction of "Well, it must be sensational because it was in the British press" is a reluctance to check it out properly. Or an over-readiness to accept assurances from the institutions -- the White House, whatever -- that although -- "There's nothing to the story. It's just a British story. Ignore it."
Duration: 10.14 seconds
On national stories, the competition is there. But given that competition, they're all worried about being frozen out by the Administration.
Duration: 21.02 seconds
No correspondent wants to be frozen out -- so he's not being briefed while his colleagues from the
New York Times
are getting the briefings -- and he's left locked outside the door. I think that is the chilling fear that has knotted the spines of a lot of American journalists a-- of being locked out.
Duration: 39.11 seconds
I -- working for essentially an international new agency -- have much greater freedom to connect dots. Whereas, I think people who work for the Times and the Post, particularly those because they are kind of court newspapers, and as a result their relationship with people in power is a much more delicate kind of proposition. They cannot write things that may, on an individual basis, be pretty obvious to them after covering these people for a long period of time.
Duration: 14.61 seconds
And what happened with the Iraq coverage was that too often newspapers -- and especially television -- went with stories that were based on official claims -- and in retrospect, were really propaganda.
Duration: 27.26 seconds
Well, in this war, you had many press briefings by officials -- from Rumsfeld and other cabinet members and military officers -- that were off-the-record -- that reporters could only attend them if they agreed not to quote anyone directly. So the reporters were getting a lot of information they couldn't attribute, and that was being given to them as insiders.
Duration: 21.92 seconds
The tendency is always -- You're in the room with a Rumsfeld, and he's giving you exclusive information. It sounds like it's, "Gee, what more could you want? Exclusive inside information during a war." I think people too often treated it with great reverence just being in the room and being -- having access to that.
Duration: 12.08 seconds
But even to this date there's still not enough questioning by reporters of official claims -- Look behind the claims for the real evidence.
Duration: 14.15 seconds
The news editors and reporters were going along with the buildup and were not questioning what Rumsfeld said, and what Powell said, and what Bush said. But the editors from their easy chairs were.
Duration: 25.19 seconds
Now that was completely different in newspapers. Newspapers you always had some columnist -- somewhere, someone was -- or maybe just a Doonesbury cartoon -- but there was some commentary that often differed from the official view. Where on television you tended to have the same talking heads, the same experts all bolstering the war.