October 19, 2013

"If I was editor, I would get people after Obama. I voted for the guy, but he’s a disaster as a president."

"And a disaster most through his Justice Department and muzzling the press. Succeeding. And nobody’s — there’s no [Harrison] Salisbury, [David] Halberstam to bust ass in Washington anymore. That Washington bureau is a wimpy place right now and has been since Obama’s election, or since 9/11 actually."

Says Gay Talese, who was a NYT reporter in the 1960s and who wrote "The Kingdom and the Power: Behind the Scenes at The New York Times: The Institution That Influences the World."

41 comments:

cubanbob said...

Apparently it hasn't occurred to him the reason why is that they are now DNC house organs. Now if by some miracle on 21 January 2017 there was a radical change in management in DC then they would become reporters again except when it comes to matters that might be embarrassing the masters of the house organs.

P. Aaron Jones said...

Reporters are too well clothed and fed these days.

YoungHegelian said...

When I try and explain to my liberal friends what really happens in the right-wing blogosphere, they're generally taken aback by the discovery that who righties really hate is not the Dems, who are doing what political parties do, but the press, who righties believe has completely forsaken their sacred duty as gadflies to those in power in order to perform unnatural acts for the Democrats.

As Instapundit puts it, "the Democratic Party with bylines".

DavidD said...

"I voted for the guy, but he’s a disaster as a president."

Well, duh.

What had he ever done or said that would have given you any other expectation?

n.n said...

There must be an unprecedented incentive to concede or disincentive to oppose the consensus.

Om said...

"That Washington bureau is a wimpy place right now and has been since Obama’s election, or since 9/11 actually."

Interesting what Graham conveniently extracted to craft the title for his article "Washington Bureau of NY Times Is a 'Wimpy Place,' Too Soft on Obama the 'Disaster,' Says Author Gay Talese". Sorta missed the part about "since 9/11", which I'm pretty sure refers to the year 2001.

Always best to go back to first sources and skip the commentaries from bloggers. The cut and paste a little too much.

For those truly interested in what Talese had to say, here's the podcast of his one hour and twenty minute interview: http://longform.org/posts/longform-podcast-64-gay-talese

Big Mike said...

If I was editor ...

Is anything stopping him?

SteveR said...

A free and independent press? Hah Hah. I'd love to see them go after Carney like they did Ron Ziegler back in the day. The main stream press is a disgrace.

Hagar said...

"The Press" is not in the bag for the Democratic Party.

The scandal is that the party is in the bag for "the Press."

dandean said...

The MSM spent so much time and effort creating and nourishing the myth that any criticism of Obama has its roots in racism, that they are terrified of being hoist on their own petard.

Hammond X Gritzkofe said...

Shouldn't that be ...If I were editor...?

(Maybe the subjunctive is subjective these days, but it's one of those things that grates on me.)

MadisonMan said...

Total agreement. I'm not sure how the Press has been defanged by Obama et al., but it certainly has been.

Journalists everywhere should be ashamed.

Jim said...

"Journalists everywhere should be ashamed."

Why? They were active participants in helping him get elected.

Robert Cook said...

"Apparently it hasn't occurred to him the reason why is that they are now DNC house organs. Now if by some miracle on 21 January 2017 there was a radical change in management in DC then they would become reporters again except when it comes to matters that might be embarrassing the masters of the house organs."

Hardly. It's because they've become courtiers to power. To whomever is in power. The media was as supine and compliant before Bush as it has been before Obama.

avwh said...

Really, Cook?

The press never blamed Hurricane Katrina's aftermath in New Orleans on Bush? Said over & over he didn't care, let the evacuation get screwed up (when the Mayor and Governor had much more responsibility)?

The press never said over & over "Bush lied, people died" in Iraq? Never blamed him for the intelligence the whole western world had and believed that Saddam had WMD?

What color is the sky on your planet, Cook?

sean said...

He sounds like Prof. Althouse: voted for Obama, now whines about the consequences of his choice. Boring.

Robert Cook said...

No, the press never said "Bush lied, people died." There were many citizens who said it, and it was true. Bush, Cheney, et al. did lie. "The world" did not believe Hussein had WMD and even we didn't. Plenty in Washington in both parties said it to justify our aggression against Iraq, but virtually no one believed it. We knew better and even Condi Rice and Colin Powell admitted publicly and separately in the months before 9/11 that Hussein was "no threat" and essentially powerless.

The press then and now allowed Bush to lie without challenge.

Quayle said...

I've said it before, but I'll repeat it here.

The world of the press has irrevocably changed, and the issue isn't the press people the issue is the press has not power.

Back when there were 3 networks and 5 major papers, the press owned the game and the white house had to deal on their terms or it wouldn't get any play or, worse, it would get killed with no other outlet to counter the bad press.

Now that the paths - the channels - to the public are in the thousands, or even direct with the webpage, twitter and email, the owner of the process is no longer the press (the old few channels) but now is the news and information source - the white house.

The press is left to stand tin cup in hand and beg for information - for the exclusive interview.

If anyone in the press doesn't play with Obama, they get frozen out. They don't get invited to the oval office for that small-group chat.

Worse yet, they don't get invited to the white house BBQ.

The only way the press is going to regain power is if they band together and refuse to be seduced.

But it will never happen. There will always be one ambitious up-n-comer that will accept the invite for the "exclusive" and will play along to get it.

The public must now become educated and more discriminating, at the very time it appears to be dumber and less able to decipher truth from spin, good work for rubbish.

SteveR said...

Cook, so the press shirking their responsibilities when Bush was president doesn't mean that doing the same thing to a much greater degree up to and after the election of Obama, is OK. Right? However you spin it, its disgraceful.

amielalune said...

Cook, you are absolutely ridiculous. And that's how lies become accepted as truths, because liberals lie and no one calls them on it.

Go back to the news at the time. Count the number of stories critical of Bush compared to the number critical of Obama during his term. Contrast how Wolf Blitzer spent a 3-hour show on the fact that Bush's popularity fell to 37% and no news outlet even mentioned it when Obama's did. I could go on for pages but you will never be convinced. I really mourn the loss of critical thinking in this country.

Willys said...

The time frame is a bit off, but as the O'man said...

"We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America."

rjschwarz said...

Cook, you're wrong. Bush said that British Intelligence said Iraq was trying to get yellowcake from Niger. British Intelligence still says he was trying to get yellowcake from Niger. Go back to the game tapes, he did not lie.

And the nightly countdown of dead soldiers in Iraq was entirely non-partisan as well I suppose.

Koblog said...

What percentage of the broadcast news networks, newspaper reporters and journalism departments at universities call themselves "conservative."

Now tell me they cover Obama with the same scrutiny as they do Sarah Palin.

RebeccaH said...

I find it hard not to be angry at people who thought Obama was the Second Coming and are now crying boohoo. How come I knew he was going to be a disaster, and you didn't?

LilyBart said...


The press has historically let their ideology get in the way of reporting facts. Look up Walter Duranty.

Annie said...

Well Cook, please explain non-existent yellow cake being flown from Iraq to Canada.

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/25546334/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/secret-us-mission-hauls-uranium-iraq/#.UmP46hBLi8A

And are you saying Bill and Hillary are lying too or will you just ignore that and regurgitate democrat/media talking points on the evil of Bush/Cheney?

How about the 17 resolutions Saddam broke? Are those lies and shouldn't have been put in place to begin with since noone gave a crap about following up?

Annie said...

The only way the press is going to regain power is if they band together and refuse to be seduced.

They did band together. Journolist.
They lied, deceived, covered-up, to get their boyfriend elected. They attacked anyone who dared to vet or criticize him.

Sarge said...

Why don't people like Cook remember who started this mess? How about Clinton who failed to take anything seriously except Monics blowjobs. Remember first trade center bombing, Cole and embassies bombing, Bin laden missed assassination op, et al?

Sarge said...

Why don't people like Cook remember who started this mess? How about Clinton who failed to take anything seriously except Monics blowjobs. Remember first trade center bombing, Cole and embassies bombing, Bin laden missed assassination op, et al?

Sarge said...

Why don't people like Cook remember who started this mess? How about Clinton who failed to take anything seriously except Monics blowjobs. Remember first trade center bombing, Cole and embassies bombing, Bin laden missed assassination op, et al?

Sarge said...

Why don't people like Cook remember who started this mess? How about Clinton who failed to take anything seriously except Monics blowjobs. Remember first trade center bombing, Cole and embassies bombing, Bin laden missed assassination op, et al?

Sarge said...

Why don't people like Cook remember who started this mess? How about Clinton who failed to take anything seriously except Monics blowjobs. Remember first trade center bombing, Cole and embassies bombing, Bin laden missed assassination op, et al?

Robert Cook said...

"Cook, so the press shirking their responsibilities when Bush was president doesn't mean that doing the same thing to a much greater degree up to and after the election of Obama, is OK. Right? However you spin it, its disgraceful."

10/19/13, 11:34 PM

Who says it's okay? It's a calamity!

Robert Cook said...

"Cook, you're wrong. Bush said that British Intelligence said Iraq was trying to get yellowcake from Niger. British Intelligence still says he was trying to get yellowcake from Niger. Go back to the game tapes, he did not lie."

I guess James Clapper's claim before Congress that the NSA is not spying on Americans means they're not, right? Or to anyone who is paying the slightest attention it means he committed the felony of perjuring himself before Congress.

Joe Wilson effectively repudiated the suggestion that Hussein had sought yellow cake uranium from Niger.

The intelligence agencies tell lies on behalf of each other to lend a patina of credibility to their allies. The US and the UK are equally culpable for the lies that justified our illegal invasion of Iraq.

Big Mike said...

Joe Wilson effectively repudiated the suggestion that Hussein had sought yellow cake uranium from Niger.

No he didn't. When you write that you are lying. You are lying probably because you are too intellectually lazy to look at countervailing evidence. Wilson traveled to Niger, he asked old buddies in the government of Niger if Iraq was trying to buy yellowcake. They looked at the turkey with a bland expression and said, in so many words, "Who? Us?" Winky-winky But they did admit that Iraq had sent a trade delegation to expand trade between the two countries. At that time Niger's primary export was yellowcake, followed by livestock, cowpeas, and onions. Anything in that list, other than yellowcake, that Saddam Hussein might have been interested in trading oil for?

Then, of course, there's the editorial published in the April 9, 2006 Washington Post which stated that "Mr. Wilson was the one guilty of twisting the truth and that, in fact, his report to the CIA supported the conclusion that Iraq had sought uranium." That might be the last sensible thing the Post has written ever.

Chef Mojo said...

I guess James Clapper's claim before Congress that the NSA is not spying on Americans means they're not, right? Or to anyone who is paying the slightest attention it means he committed the felony of perjuring himself before Congress.

Joe Wilson effectively repudiated the suggestion that Hussein had sought yellow cake uranium from Niger.

The intelligence agencies tell lies on behalf of each other to lend a patina of credibility to their allies. The US and the UK are equally culpable for the lies that justified our illegal invasion of Iraq.


Cookie, you just contradicted yourself in the most grievous fashion.

You ask us to be skeptical of James Clapper, and then turn right around and ask us to accept Joe Wilson's word as gospel, simply because he validates your view of the matter.

You're a strange one, Cookie. Consistent, for the most part; I'll give you that. But a strange one.

I'll take facts, hold the narrative said...

Today, the working press in D.C. has been corrupted without any overt act by the people being covered. The corruption is self-imposed and it is not related to any ideology held by members of the press.

Almost all of the members of the press are married and many have children.

Marriage means a spouse who has to have a job to afford that nice house in the good neighborhood. An not just any job, but a job that can lead to an even better paying job with the right connections.

Children means paying tuition for the right private school because we all know how abysmal the public schools are in D.C.

So, the reporter has a job, a wife with a job, kids, a house, two cars - these guys are all trying to write a book that will fund their retirement if they can get a publisher.

So, the former crusading journalist who has a hot lead that if it pans out could shake up the administration has a choice - print or suppress the story.

If it is to suppress, they can look forward to having a question answered by Jay Carney once a month and an occasional appearance on Cable TV.

If it is to print the story, they can look forward to never having a question answered by any Democrat, their tax returns audited, a phone call that results in the spouse getting fired, and eventually losing their marriage, their children, their house and their life.

Oh, and having to take a job at the local paper back in the old hometown.

In the 80s, I saw an interview of a book author who had written about the "old time" reporters from the days before World War II. The interviewer asked what had happened - why did the modern days reporters not show the zeal for the story that the was typical of the "old timers". The guest replied that when reporters had become middle class, they had lost the instinct for the story.

Today's reporters see themselves as part of the ruling class and cannot bring themselves to attack other members of the ruling class.

jr565 said...

Robert cook wrote:
Joe Wilson effectively repudiated the suggestion that Hussein had sought yellow cake uranium from Niger.


You are so full of it. First of Bush said Africa, notNiger. Because there was actually allegations about Iraq seeking yellow cake from Niger and from The Sudan. And Joe didn't even do an adequate job dispelling the notion that Iraq sought yellow cake from Niger. His investigation centered on a forged allegation, but that wasnt the allegation presented by the Brits. Which he didnt investigate.
One of the worst exposes imaginable, since in fact it exposed nothing but Wilson's lack of ability to adequately investigate the claims.

Oh, and even if Wilson thought that Iraq didnt seek yellow cake from ighr he still thought Iraq Haf WMD'S.

jr565 said...

Here's what Joe Wison said about Iraq:
"There was a lot of reason to be concerned about weapons of mass destruction in the hands of Saddam Hussein," he told WABC Radio's Mark Simone. "I always thought that he probably had chemical and biological weapons and biological precursors as well."

Wilson said his primary policy difference with President Bush wasn't over Saddam's WMDs, but rather on the question of "how to construct a policy that gets to the national security issue of disarming Saddam Hussein and does so at minimum risk to other legitimate U.S. interests both in Iraq and in the region."

But aside from that, Wilson said he cheered President Bush's decision to topple the Iraqi dictator, telling Simone: "When the president went up to the U.N. and got the [war] resolution unanimously passed at the U.N., nobody applauded louder than I did."

Do you still want to trot out Joe Wison, Robert?

harkin said...

Halberstam? Everything I read from that guy over the last 10 years of his life was DNC hack-a-riffic.

Americans are getting their news from ABC/NBC/Comedy Central/CNN/PBS-NPR/Yahoo/AP/Reuters and it's all party line shills.

Naut Right said...

I have suggested a few times that the quid pro quo for the press' zealous support for the President and everything Democrat is that there would be a significant bar raised against entry to journalism. We've seen at least one attempted foray into that zone, already. The object for the MSM is $$. They want the diffusion of their market from independents in competition to stop. I doubt they care THAT much for Obama except he's an ally.