tv [untitled] May 27, 2012 9:00pm-9:30pm EDT
doing and had become so willing to be compliant as he put it, they had gotten out of the habit of thinking for themselves. the book that they brought forward is -- there is quite a large number of books written by war correspondents and some of them are very well-known. this book deserves to be up there with the best of them. there two reasons for that. it is a very good expression of what it's like to be a war correspondent. he was a hell of a good reporter and given a lot of responsibility and in considerable danger from time to time. he was able to write about with great humanity.
just as a good story by a war reporter, he did an excellent job. the second part is as you might guess since the date of the story is being sacked by the ap and he writes consistently about the problems he had and here's the story that the war is over. he wants to tell the story and he is so mad and so fed up that he decides he is going to run the story. he has done the right thing and he checked with the sensors and he thinks the ground is withholding the story. you see it as years of being frustrated. kind of erupting in this response.
somebody on the panel had a very interesting story and tom and i wish he had got nen trouble in tiro for resisting the sensors and it caused and gotten the story smuggled out or taken out and they had to rewrite the rules. from the beginning of the war, he had a history of resistance and got this trouble because he got to paris before the army. he got ahead that they got there first. i think what they are expressing and what kennedy was expressing is months of frustration. >> and if i could ask you to talk about some of the early coverage that made his career and if it's not too much to ask on the other side, what happened in the post ap career.
>> well, even today there few people in the diplomatic core or anywhere else who have had the breath of experience as ed kennedy. we talked about it, but he covered the mideast and the balkans and based in cairo and had enormous war experience. he got there in i think 1929 and stayed until his pockets went empty and had to come back to the states and came back again in the 30s and covered spanish war and right on through. there were few people who knew as much and experience as much and who could report as well. he was the guy and on the frontline time and time again. i want to point out that his successor was a guy named wes gallagher, a predecessor of mine and his son, brian, is with us tonight.
and wes took ed kennedy's place and became general manager. ed was on a track and an incredible track and responsible for some of the most difficult logistics of war coverage. in the aftermath, our understanding is that cooper helped find ed a job with a publisher who supported ed. ed lived a more quiet in california and he did a lot of teaching and did a lot of mentoring. he loved the big story and it was a huge thing from what he had done. he came home twice in ten years. it was a long way from there to
santa barbara. >> i was wondering when they did the research if there were things that you discovered in addition ed kennedy and the associated press about the military or political figures that you thought were leaders into the military at the time. i didn't. the i think more of what you get out of the book is what you really get is a sense of what it was really like to do this job. there wonderful anecdotes, but get a sense of what it was like to be there every day and to
work your way through the war up north and i say one thing. i think there is a lot of work to be done on world war ii and coverage. i don't think we have a good way to describe what reporting was like and how bad it was. the military had two efforts they used to try to control reporters. one was and it may be the earning in the room, but one was getting them to go and write stories about them so they can be sent home. it was a good way to build support and it wasn't a good way generally speak to let people
know what was happening in terms of strategy and all that. the second thing is first person stories. in most of the papers you are not supposed to at least in the way when we started out, you were supposed to write first person. because they had to find something to write about, they put them in an airplane and the best thing that happens is there is a wonderful story of a young guy or a reporter who got a little bit of scrap nell in his rear end. some of that stuff can be good. one reporter who did a story that everybody should read about what it was like to be wounded. they wrote it when he was in the hospital and shipped for life. it was very hard to do your job.
the military was adept at finding ways to do big stories. because they were all patriots, it wasn't the famous story when he slapped the young soldier and that wasn't reported by a reporter in the field. it was reported here in washington by a columnist who disliked roosevelt and saw it as a way to embarrass roosevelt. the ap like everybody else had problems with this. i think that's what you had to write. i think it's a lot of work to be done to chronicle how limited the information we got into that and be able to show it in quantitative ways. >> i was wonder figure you can talk about what it was like to be the war correspondent in the
trenches with the troops and whatever you were trying to do and how life is different now. and times have changed in the sense that journalism is more the target and security is a grave concern. i think we have seen an evolution over the last couple of decades to where the journalist is clearly in country after country and place after place being targeted to be taken out. we had somebody who suffered a fractured skull covering a demonstration and camera man and had to have a plate inserted in his head. the frontlines are still the frontlines and i think they are as dicy as they ever have been.
now the battle lines are very different. more state to state and more guerilla warfare and terrorism acts. we have moved to a different and dangerous phase. >> and i wanted to say if anyone in the audience has questions, i want to open it up so you can ask both of these distinguished gentlemen anything you would like. anyone? >> would the ap itself be subject to review from the military or if they had stood up for mr. kennedy and instead said as an institution, were they concerned about do you feel as though they were concerned about their own reputation as an institution or was it strictly just a sense that if there is a
journalist code about all being on the same page? >> in this case they were subject to a punishment and the credentials for all of ap for a brief period of time were yanked for the european theater that would have been disastrous. that threat was real and it seemed to me in this stream of what became the anti-kennedy story that became the boat by which management could drive towards the ownership side of the kennedy position and we have to side with management that jumped out in front of attacking kennedy in the name of making sure we have access to that. the credentials were restored very quickly for ap. they were not restored for ed kennedy. ed kennedy also faced court-martial. the correspond epts were given military rank and they were subjected to the military code.
that was another big concern in this case. >> that has been one of the criticisms and most recently in a place that was moved yesterday. if you saw that, it was written by the son of a person who had been the stars and stripes correspondent and one of the valid points is whether kennedy advised his superiors of the existence. >> that's an interesting problem. today if you have a story that
is like this, you can actually talk to your editor because of satellite phones. in those days, you couldn't send a cable saying i want to talk to you about a story that i would like to break the embargo on. the line between london and paris was not a good line. the argument has been made by somebody last night. this is breaking the embargo. that's not a very that doesn't tell you that much and he didn't have time to dictate the story. so i have to understand that they didn't allow the back and
forth of the home office that you have today. >> let me make a couple of points. whatever the terms were of the pledge, 18 hours passed. general eisenhower felt the need to get out the word. that the killing should stop. there was no question about the truth of the story. the authenticity and the fact that this was an unconditional surrender. once the story or the embargo was broken and there was repeated broadcast under many german communications methods that, enabled kennedy to decide
it was time to go forward. kennedy could not call new york without going through the sensor. that group was out. i think you have to take a step back and look at this culturally. he did what he has done throughout the war. he was the guy who was on point. he operated by himself, got the stories out time and time again. they got them to the field and moved them. also the people in the desk had expected this story. there was anticipation and the delay the fact that the allied command couldn't hold the orders of churchill and truman i think put this is in a different
perspective. what we are talking about is the story that was true and by getting the word out, they were telling people to stop the killing. the stakes were profound. >> do you take any action against everybody else involved in the case and anybody in london or new york? >> no. however i can tell you from the stories inside ap that some people became very paralyzed by it and were upset by it and reacted differently throughout their careers. >> that's london calling. >> that's my desk, but that's the end of that. let's go over here. >> there have been story who is were assigned great and the last
week that so and so would not move certain stories of a certain magnitude that they had to be passed to somebody else to edit and move. somebody was hired in a bureau job and recounted to the journalist who started on the first day on the job. there were stories passed on through decades. that happens in all journalism institutions and all professions. a lot of the medical profession has an oral culture and we do too. that's why there has been a great outpouring for hundreds of people since the story hit the wires. >> first row? >> what happened to the rugs wanting to delay the
announcement? >> they wanted equal credit for winning the war. >> because they wanted to announce it simultaneously and didn't want it announced only by the french and the british and the americans, but wanted to have time to be part of the announcement and they were not there in the room when this happened. i didn't remember that, but in any event they were not ready to make the document yet can they wanted a coordinated announcement and a political agreement that they would be allowed to do that. >> yes? >> i discussed that issue with kennedy. i was a young man and he was about the most profound individual i knew.
he felt shy from feeling birth. he felt that it was entirely a political agreement to allow the soviet union to occupy berlin and reach them. that was what was supposed to happen during that delay period. >> everything was moving fast and you probably recall patton was on the other side. just dieing to get going. >> i'm curious about the german radio broadcast. i would love to know more, especially the public nature of
it. whether it was public or heard by the large number of people. the reason i'm asking is the embargo was broken by a party that was never party to the embargo by the group and certainly by today's standards in journalism if there was such an embargo in place, but it was that the story was in public realm and out there. this was an official german broadcast and that would be considered today to in fact break the embargo. they no longer apply because the story is basically out there. i am curious to know is that never -- i realize that there wasn't the travel of news then as there is today. it seems that that perhaps what the do you means you handed out seems like that's what was one of the motivations to feel he could.
>> i would say one thing. that radio station was party to the embargo because it was controlled by the allies. by today's standards, that would be considered by many the embargo is broken. >> the argument made yesterday by john dart on, an interesting argument is that keen dee should have gotten the reporters and say this has been broken and we should report at the same time. we will go and tell the sensors and i think that's one argument that i don't mean to laugh it off. and there is another way to look at it. you are the ap and you are supposed to report news and you have a first. you report it. >> let me give perspective on a related event. they have the buy line on the d-day invasion story.
the original report came from ap quoting german radio. that the invasion had begun before the allies authorized the release of the d-day invasion story. this happens all the time. knowing something like that as ed kennedy did, i think that also adds to the cultural aspect that he did what he knew the wire service always does. when the embargo is broken and the word gets out, you know it's true and you go. you get the news out of town. >> it seems that the others knew that the germans broke t they are good reporters too. why wouldn't they say we have to get the news out as well. >> that's a point to his credit. he kept doing additional
reporting and that's one of the reasons to love him more. here was something he didn't stop. he kept on reporting. >> meaning he found out about the broadcast and he wasn't just sitting around telling him that he had to wait to report it. >> right. >> i could add that on the handouts you have -- we didn't have room to include that there were three broadcasts that kennedy and others heard. kennedy heard that in the ap office. he was listening to the bbc. these were english translations of the german broadcast that he heard. each broadcast delivered slightly and had different content. i believe it was the 2:40 p.m. broadcast that put him over and
probably decided him to move at that point. the first one came at 2:01. and it was a good 40 minutes of listening to those english translations before he made a call. the phone that he picked up was paris military and he had not thought about closing off the lynn and kennedy and other reporters had used that line before. it was not out of the ordinary to pick up that line if huh to call london. >> how long was it before others matched the story and did the other people once ap had the story to break embargo or did the military lift the embargo and let others report the story? >> they did not. others did not report.
>> it was exclusive for a day. >> the digest party occurred on the seventh. >> to some of the criticism within the community and i'm curious if you could talk about i guess the politics, if you will, of those likely to new york times and others who may have put pressure on the ap. what can you share about that? how did that come down? >> with rare exception, everyone was against ap for it and very, very angry at ap for what happened. the debate was quickly
influenced by the board president who went public and attacked kennedy. so he charted the course. there were a few people who had sided with him and one of whom ultimately gave him a job. the reality was that this process wassed aed and a betted by what i believe was a knew jerk reaction and an unfair decision. it was counter to any journalism principals. the fact that he was fired was to me beyond outrageous since everybody had anticipated that the word was coming out and you never, never fire somebody for a truthful story either. i never have seen that happen. there were a lot of things here that are upsetting, but the tide
was cast and it was pretty ugly. >> they spoke to that and urged action by ap? from outside these organizations? >> yes. >> it's boring and kent cooper which would be tom's and it was impossible to look at it objectively when the president had already made this statement. then you find you are writing letters that frankly indicated that he was already selling the guy out and said he made statements in the introduction and can't quote them, but where he was making points, i hope when you look at all the bad things kennedy did when he did the military and i hope you will be objective.
they clearly got caught in really a bad management spiral. at the end, cooper never really finally said you are fired. ed kennedy never really was told you are absolutely fired. they hoped you would go away. that's not a good approach. >> that are kind of happened for 67 jeers. >> was there pressure from the white house or the u.s. government? for the ap to fire? >> no. none that we saw. actually in the report that the army did, they showed the enlightened side and granted him a and reestablished his accreditation to cover them any time in any theater. >> and it was acknowledged that
the broadcast had in fact been authorized by the u.s. military. he was right. >> any final words or thoughts? anyone else? i want to thank you very much. this is a book if you don't have it, i highly recommend it and a very interesting subject. thank you all. >> we feature the lives and legacies of the