Duration: 22.12 seconds
And what we were doing -- we were talking not to senior officials who were part of the political -- who shared the political agenda -- but people who -- the hands-on. sort of mid-level -- and some senior people too, very senior people too -- who were dealing with this issue, and had serious questions about what was going on.
Duration: 18.65 seconds
We're not in this to gain recognition for ourselves, we're in this because it's our job as reporters -- for better or for worse -- Constitutionally, to hold the government accountable for it's actions, and what it's telling the American people. And that's what we were doing. We were doing our job.
Duration: 20.12 seconds
I kind of straddle the line between beat reporting and investigative reporting, because National Security issues are probably the most opaque that are dealt with by the government. Because that's just the nature of the beast. And therefore, to be able to report on National Security issues you have to be able to do investigative reporting.
Duration: 13.61 seconds
In trying to get to the bottom of the use of the intelligence for the justification of the war, that requires a lot of investigative techniques.
Duration: 16.52 seconds
In a lot of ways, you have to sort of be an intelligence analyst. A lot of the most important stories I've done haven't relied on secret sources or leaked documents. There's a lot out there in the public domain that merely needs to be scrubbed and read over.
Duration: 26.66 seconds
What I've been doing -- since all of this really started bubbling up -- is going back, and re-reading speeches and statements. And when you go back and do that, then you -- things hit you that didn't hit you the first time. Because when you wrote it -- when you listened to it the first time, there wasn't -- You were reporting on -- I was reporting on the questionable intelligence, but it wasn't really a huge issue. And so a lot of stuff you kind of jumped over back then.
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: 10.28 seconds
I don't think I'd be able to do the same kind of reporting that I've been able to do if I worked for television -- absolutely.
Duration: 17.15 seconds
Today's television news, rarely puts stories on that they can't put pictures to. And a lot of stories can't -- are so complicated and technical that you can't put pictures to them, and therefore they're not going to get on air.
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: 10.54 seconds
And that fear is always an inhibiting factor on the reporting of journalists who are assigned those particular beats.
Duration: 16.35 seconds
But there is an innate conservatism in journalism here -- that for it to be sensible and serious journalism it must be mild -- its conclusions must be mild.
Duration: 7.54 seconds
If you come to a really shocking and extraordinary conclusion, it must be sensational -- Therefore, it can't be "good journalism."
Duration: 21.09 seconds
The rest of the crowd though has a much greater sense of caution, and a sense that if you're a "good journalist," the stuff you come out with must -- can't rock the boat too much -- it must -- it shouldn't be too far from the conventional wisdom.
Duration: 15.68 seconds
And it is something that in general I admire about the American press -- that there is a distinction -- a much firmer distinction between editorial and what you report -- and that you shouldn't be putting your views overtly in the piece.
Duration: 13.31 seconds
It's this shying away from conclusions -- and shying away from strong conclusions that jar with the conventional wisdom -- that I think somehow shackles American journalism.
Duration: 18.18 seconds
And I think, again, that is a symptom of this sense of -- feeling that serious journalism isn't sensational. Therefore, you don't want to put your most sensational point up front, because it might look like you're being flashy -- or trying to cause an uproar, and therefore not a serious journalist.
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: 28.9 seconds
In looking at a number of different crises or foreign policy issues over long periods of time, I kind of concluded that people fundamentally misunderstand the function of mainstream media, and indeed journalists themselves I think misunderstand it. I think the function of mainstream media is by and large to confirm people’s existing prejudices each day about how the world works.
Duration: 18.75 seconds
As opposed to providing new information that would challenge those fundamental prejudices -- or as Walter Lippman called them "stereotypes" that all of us carry around inside of us, and that are mostly culturally defined.
Duration: 24.22 seconds
I think you can only come to that conclusion when you see the existence of the same story lines, the same stereotypes, brought up again and again and again over long periods of time with respect to this or that enemy -- rather than serious challenging of those kinds of stereotypes or story lines.
Duration: 12.48 seconds
Well, I mean, I’m a product of the culture too, and to that extent my coverage is going to be affected by what my -- you know, what my cultural upbringing says is possible and impossible.
Duration: 25.89 seconds
But I think the tone of all our coverage on Iraq -- in fact, all our coverage on all subjects -- is not to be partisan or not to be left or right or anything like that. But we believe in the -- what should be the main principle of journalism, besides being accurate and fair, is to be skeptical.To raise questions, to not take what officials say as the gospel truth -- unless it's really proven -- if there's documents.
Duration: 20.12 seconds
The journalistic principle is the same: To be skeptical unless there's hard evidence and proof. And you report what someone says -- "It's their claim." "It's what they say." "It's what they allege." "It's what they're trying to prove." -- But you don't present these things as fact if you're not sure they're fact.
Duration: 16.25 seconds
The second was just not being skeptical enough. In journalism school, they teach reporters at the lowest level to be skeptical of what officials say. And make them prove their assertions -- or print their claims as claims.