Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Woodward, Bernstein speak in Walnut Creek

Carl Bernstein, left, and Bob Woodward, right, told a Walnut Creek audience Monday night that investigative journalism still has a future if news organizations can find a way to make it pay. The Contra Costa Times has a story this morning about last night's rare appearance of the two Watergate reporters, where they gave their views on journalism, Watergate and the Bush administration.
    Now in their mid-60s, Woodward and Bernstein say they are close friends. They often finish each other's sentences. Their common hope is that the kind of journalism that shook the nation in the early 1970s will continue on the Internet, cable TV and elsewhere. ...

    Woodward, who has written four books on Bush, spending long hours with him, credited the president's historically low popularity to his inability to "find a way to tell the truth about what was going on. "One of the things that happened with Bush is he outsourced it. He delegated it. He wasn't on top of the facts," Woodward said.

    "He didn't want to be on top of the facts," added Bernstein.
According to the CCTimes, Lowell Bergman, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist whose probe of the tobacco industry was the basis for the movie "The Insider, chided Woodward for becoming "a very prosperous member of the kind of celebrity crew that you see on 'Larry King.' That may be good. That may be bad. But that's not investigative reporting. He does access reporting."

Woodward said Bergman "doesn't know what he's talking about," insisting little has changed in how he operates, talks to sources and pieces things together. (Photo credit: Karl Mondon, Contra Costa Times)

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