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tv   Wartime Press  CSPAN  July 20, 2014 6:26pm-8:01pm EDT

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american society but we're also thinking about how the issues he confronted as a commander in chief, as a president had he balked to the modern-day -- had in the modern day and where they might be headed in the future. this panel is about the role of the press. this is the wartime press and civil liberties during war. it is one of the most controversial aspects of lincoln's legacies. it remains one of the most controversial subjects. my name is matthew pinsker and i am the instructor of the understanding lincoln course. theuld like to introduced panelists and turn it over to our monitor and let him ask a series of questions in an informal discussion about these topics. our moderator to our firm left is a former u.s. army colonel and served in operation desert storm. u.s. army warhe college. he got his phd from the fletcher
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school at tosca university and he previously worked on the national security council staff. of a number of articles and has been a military analyst for cbs news. ouris right is one of panelists. kimberly is the author of and servedthe fire," as a correspondent for cbs news and the associated press and writes for "the daily beast." she is the winner of the peabody award. to happy to welcome her dickinson college. she has been named as the chair in the strategic leadership. tom shanker,is the associate editor of the washington bureau for "the new york times." he's been covering the pentagon since 2001. and he has formally served as a foreign editor and correspondent for the "chicago tribune." or ofs the co-authhor o
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"counterstrike, the untold story of our war against al qaeda." mason.left is linda she served 47 years with cbs news, ending her career in 2003 as a senior vice president for standards and specials. she was a pioneer in the industry, the first demo bs eveningn the c news with walter cronkite and broke ground on a number of fronts as a leader in the news business and the company executive during her career. it is a great panel of journalists. i think we will have a terrific discussion. i just want to remind everyone who is following this that you are welcome live tweet it. #lincoln150.
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we hope we can open this discussion to a wider collection of classes. thank new america foundation for being our host and hope that everybody who is here will enjoyed our discussion. >> it is really a pleasure for me to moderate this very distinct panel. questionn by taking a that was previously submitted by one of the participants and that is from chris jax in wichita. chris said, in lincoln's public letter in in another 1864 to a journalist, albert the president used the press to write a level of transparency. the rol -- has the role of press in the white house changed since the civil war? let me start with you.
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what was the media like during the civil war? how did lincoln view the media? did he like reporters. did he try to influence the con duct of war? >> the biggest difference is that the media back then was not fair and balanced like it is today. it was partisan. lincoln had lots of friends in the press because republican newspaper editors and writers, they were partisans for the republican party. as a leader he used partisan republican newspapers like "the onistork tribune," or uni newspapers in kentucky to transmit his ideas to the public. he was a pioneer among presidents. always presidents would use newspapers as official organs. they would designate one paper as a mouthpiece. but lincoln was a pioneer in not
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designating one mouthpieces by using multiple mouthpieces. in doing that, he created competition among journalists. in that sense, manipulated them for a very effective outreach effort. andrew glic letters, reeley and the one to hodges in 1864, thosef letters were unprecedented attempts by a president to reach aye public using media in a w that established lincoln as a great communicator for his age. >> linda, let's start with you. bring us up-to-date. have you seen evidence of modern presidents, president bush and president obama, during this period of war attempting to manipulate the press in trying to get the policies out, particular about the wars in afghanistan and iraq? >> definitely.
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george bush and obama wanted their story told. the press has a kind of dance we do with the administration. we want to do this, they want us to do that. most times we are very careful not to -- to give their line consideration and see if there's truth. margaret sullivan, the ombudsman for "the new york times" wrote last week about when the iraq war was building, "the times" was in the forefront of wmd, weapons of mass destruction. judith miller had great contacts. the great contact was a man named chalibi. he was very anti-saddam. he wanted to be and may be kenexa leader of iraq. he landed a couple of generals
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or people who said they were generals and they gave him information. he gave the same information to the white house into the pentagon. so when judith checked her sources, they all had the same sotrtory. so she thought she had it right. she didn't. there is a lot of criticism now about there weren't doubts raised. mike wither that a special commendation for raising these doubts. the problem is -- "the new york times" and "the washington post," they did not spread opinion in a big way. so the president was supported and we ende dup there. for me, when i saw colin powell talk about those bioweapon trucks. he was so trustworthy. they were very skillful.
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thatointed out in 2006 the information the cia had, which dealt with a tip from the foreign minister of iraq, somebody close to saddam, there were no weapons of mass discussion. -- mass destruction. it is hard for the press to dig inoto that. have to do it is you listen to all of the other renditions and let the public know there is a debate going on. >> how do you see examples in your reporting of the administration trying to minute delay the pres -- trying to manipulate the press? >> judy in her situation. we investigated ourselves fully and instituted a number of
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reforms in the way that we report stories. there is another body of work that i think helps to balance that out and post your point which is that a year before the invasion of iraq, my colleagues eric schmitt and david sanger began reporting a series of stories getting into the details of the initial war planning for the invasion. even as president bush were saying, we are not going to war. diplomacy is on the table. the readers of "the times:" were well aware that their president had made the most grim decision but democracy can make which is go to war. the bush administration might have been successful in planting but theyhewmw wmd, were unsuccessful in hiding that fact they decided to go to war. i'm proud of the work we did to
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inform our readers of this. >> the first story invasion was in march. our for story was in april, saying here are the outlines of the war plant. the troops are ready. it is underway. so america, you had better get ready. >> what is this relationship like? my metaphor is that the relationship between the government and the media is like a marriage. it's a dysfunctional marriage to be sure. but we stay together for the kids. now, what do i mean by that? the government really needs to get his message out to the american people. from the podium officially but it knows that the best way is by using the american news media to tell its story. we are obligated, kimberly and all of us in the business, to inform the public about the most important and the grimmest
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decisions a countries make -- the country makes about going to war. --untry makes about going t we are not partisan like we were in lincoln stein. -- lincoln's time. >> one of the most frustrating things will be when you can get the response back from the white house on the story. i will have five or six sources highly placed but not in the administration who are explaining to me, here is what is going on but i need the white house's in put. increasingly the obama white house has become so brittle and so controlling of the message that people are afraid to respond to me. sometimes the most i can get back is a boilerplate one paragraph. oft does not tell their side
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the story are how they came to decide on this policy. i end up cutting frustrated because i realized by their choice, i've only told one side of the story. now, i just wanted to say when war started i was a middle east correspondent based in israel. so i did not get to see the in up in washington, d.c. decision-making process. you could see from the way the inspectors were getting turned away from the sites they were trying to visit, the nuclear inspectors. and the tension in the iraqi government that they were bracing for this confrontation but they were also paralyzed. because one of the things that did not come up many places was iraqi government had made a conscious decision to
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make countries in the area think they had a wmd program. i spoke to intelligence officers who raided sites that look from above like a covert nuclear facility. they would lift up air vents. and they went to know where. it was if attempting nuclear facility -- as the invasion happened in those first few months as we saw raqi officers getting fired, turned away. in interviewsus if you do not give us back our jobs, we are going to start an insurgency and fight you and kill your troops. sawaw ll this play out-- -- out and saw u.s.
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military commanders reacted this thing called this an insurgency. that is where i saw the white house influence. i put, every time we put a u.s. commander on air saying what he truly felt was going on in front e-mailsi would get later from those commanders or their staff say, you don't know how much trouble you just got rumsfeld, thenald secretary of defense at the time. that whenever these guys said truly what they can was happening, they saw an insurgency, that thought, the story the white house wanted out there, which is that the war was won, there was no insurgency. people would stop answering phones after i put the story out like that. that was how i saw the president and those who work for him try to influence my reporting in the field. >> that may underscore two things that tom and can really
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set from the lincoln perspective. tom calls the relationship a marriage, a dysfunctional one. this is how it differs the marriage was back then. 'se chairman of lincoln's campaign was the editor of the "new york times." there was no distance at all between the paper and the white house. as far as the chilling effect of the administration on military commanders in the field, in some ways it was the opposite problem in the civil war. most commanders in the field of not one report is bothering them. some used them for promotion. william sherman was notorious for arresting reporters who were following and criticizing him. when the lincoln administration countermanded his arrest and released to reporters. he cannot believe that the it ministration would want embedded journalists hanging around his headquarters reporting negative information about him. but the lincoln administration
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wanted an open communication with the public in away to some of the generals resisted. and i want to ask tom kimberly, as i recall back to the point camberley made about calling it what it is, i leave the first time the word and insurgency was used was march 2004. it was 10 months to a year after -- quite some time before they could use that work. >> i thought it was j.d. thurman who said earlier than that in a press conference in falluja and got smacked. pentagon at the standing at the podium. the press corps was hammering him. great intellectual and understand that part of the world. he took a very diplomatic
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answer. , doctrinally speaking i guess what you could say is that we are facing a guerrilla war. >> do you think, i straddle this as a military officer and itired as an analysts, it seemed to me for the current sonflict, unlike what matt wa describing in the civil war, this put a damper for a time on the standard military action was, to not talk to the press. nothing ever good can happen talking to the press. at best it will be neutral. i'm curious if you think they somehow that all began, this anecdote that kimberly brings up, does that persist in dealing with the media or the military or is that involving to a certain degree? >> i watch the evolution on the ground. in 2003 in iraq, the press
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conferences with a senior military commander who came and briefed every day or every other day and the large press corps that was there at the time, it was sort of like bulls circling each other. you had a lot of young east coast guys, never been around the military before. in the ranks of the press corps. war iiis a wrorld marine, but i have been covering the middle east. there were sparring matches back and forth. then i watched the evolution as the reporter started doing embe ds getting to know the people, the lingo, the rank,, how a hum vee door opens. and they started becoming part of the club. i saw this trend forming on the ground where people would he, little ra-ra. reporters would become case
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officer'ed. one of the things that cia does is they case officer someone. the troops are winning the press over. but also the press was winning the troops over, winning their trust. you probably remember from the pentagon side of thing, the vehicles. up armored the vehicles did not have amor. rmor. any insurgents were starting to use roadside bombs. i was watching troops try to weld on their own armor onto trucks. between that and other reporters, they eventually got up armored vehicles. i felt troops were won over by that. and so this warmth built.
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from my perspective, two things happened. to me, it was choosing not aport a story when i saw senior officer using racial epithets that i caught on camera against a muslim suspect he had arrested. of his otherone guys for using that kind of language, but i thought well this guy, he's just a bad apple. i did not know enough about chain of command and command climate to know that that guy's put on camerao be because that would have alerted his command what was going on. not realize that was a larger debate going on within the u.s. military, do we treat the iraqis as an enemy? or win the people over, provide them services, build up their government and divide the enemy from the people?
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realized later i , that should have done was my lesson. the other one was the article that ended mcchrystal's career. it is interesting. i did not spend much time at the headquarters in baghdad. i spent thereth were embedded at the small unit level. what they did for the american public since the 1970's when the draft ended, we have not gone to this 1% and 99%. 99% of the american public does not know how the military work heard for the first time the media stories not only talked about mission and the campaign plan and the war, but it really brought home the individual men and women carrying out the mission. i had a conversation with a
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vietnam veteran, he asked, why is the american military today held in higher esteem now? yes, but they did not tell soldier stories in the wars in vietnam. the very quick invasion will be greeted by liberators as promised by bush and cheney. became the longest war in american history, i think those stories brought home the sacrifice of the individual military personnel regardless of your political view. for the war or against it, these men and women were carrying off the lawful orders of the commander-in-chief and showing their lives was very important. some of the civil war battlefields. civil war, too, was being told it would be over in 90
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days. there was no thought whatsoever that that war would drag on and on and on just like the invasion of iraq. people thought the troops would be home by september. >> there has always been embedded journalists in american wars. the civil war was notable for it. i think what kimberly is describing, that natural affinity that developed when journalists are covering soldiers is apparent in any war. even the vietnam war. sometimes i think there is a myth about the coverage of the thenam war overstates th friction. in the civil war, i can speak to that directly, there is this unbelievable story of an embedded journalist that people in our course know well. keson was covering the army of the potomac. he went to the battle of gettysburg and was their headquarters covering the story. but his son was in the army of the potomac.
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he was a young artillery officer, 19. he was killed on the first day. his father found his body on july 4, 1863, and wrote the leave for "the new york times" about the battle with an opening paragraph that describes his son's dead body and how he had died because of poor command decisions on the first day. it was furious, graphic. it created a sensation. at the end of the piece, sam wilkeson writes but it was worth will have these men created a second birth of freedom in america. were friendssons of the link is. lincolns.riend of the i would be shocked if anybody in this panel had ever heard of sam wilkeson.
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yet this is the legacy that has given us all of these embedded journalists. i think we need a deeper appreciation of that relationship. i'm curious as to whether the panelists think it is changing at all. it seems to me that there is more continuity than change. >> what i was trying to describe was the maturation of a journalist covering the military. when you come to the subject initially and you are learning about it and then you're part of it, become part of the club because you know how some of the things work. then you realize, wait a minute. my job is to be as hard on them as they are on themselves. my job is not to be a cheerleader. i am making them better by that first paragraph describing that journalist's son's death. that is something that i see young journalists going to the same arc. as, there is a generation of
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journalists who covered the iraq war, and most of them have moved on to different jobs. i only see a small group of people who keep going back to the same war zones over and over. in print there seems to be much more of a situation back to d.c. thethen i see frequently people covering wars are young freelancers going over there to get their start. it is those icy go through this arc. arc.but also, i think linda mit speak to this >, too. there are always exceptions. their articles and reporters who are critical. you get occasional episodes like general kristol and his aides speaking to "the rolling stone." by and large, i do not see a an
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arc. icy supportive coverage in the see supportive coverage in the way that wilke son's coverage is. aybe i am misreading it as history professor. i do not see a lot of criticism of troops on the ground in a consistent way. having served my military career in the beginning of the vietnam war and through the gulf war and now into the conflicts in iraq and in afghanistan, i remember candidly having garbage thrown on me by the american people. basting in the adulation of the american public. this is not your lifelong guarantee. this could ebb and flow. have managed to criticize the
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war and not criticize the warrior. i'm curious -- the coverage of the war in iraq and afghanistan. this is the first war since world war ii since we rotated national guard units. this brings back home to hometown america. like the civil war where the regiments came from particular areas. that resonates back. the state of louisiana -- there were hurricane katrina strikes in new orleans. which makes -- that story which had nothing to do with the war in iraq. those who were supposed to come to our assistance were serving the nation. >> one footnote. one wefirst iraq war, went to kuwait, the pentagon was clear about not having any embeds. they had their pools. there were some supporters --
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reporters who were called unilateral who went. and the troops allowed them to embed. that made me feel so good that this tradition lives. even though the pentagon did not want it, the american troops allowed it. so there was reporting even when it wasn't welcomed. >> cbs news and walter cronkite, iconic for breaking with the johnson administration after the tet offensive. that was a turning point in our history classes. what did you characterizes generally supportive? or do you see it differently? lawrence is famous for charlie company and he humanized the soldiers in that way. what the national networks did was in reporting the deaths and the constant reporting, and to
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not forget, 55,000 americans died. there was not a draft. there was a draft, excuse me. so pigment of every --- people from every segment of society were affected. this constant hammering ended the war in vietnam finally. on theed to push back idea that the press is in majority supportive of wars anywhere. "thee war in afghanistan, ammeredton post" really h some of the government agencies for the rebuilding project in the south that had ended up going nowhere and then huge waste of money. i did the same thing in iraq. in a trip in afghanistan i did a story that i understand the general -- was very angry about and the military were in a spat over the cia's
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decision to withdraw conger terrorism pursuit teams, local afghans, fighting against al qaeda. the cia and the military did not coordinate their withdrawals. fine, we will fire these people enclose our bases. you figure out how to cover the border with pakistan. that certainly was not very well received there. from severaleard officials he said, thank you for writing that because we need to hold them to account. >> let me press on that. before i do, i've got to come back on this question about embeds during the gulf war. i was commander. i turned it down. i feel bad about that now. the great thing about it was that the requirement i was told i had to fulfill to have this one journalist with me, i had to give him his own private vehicle. his own guard.
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i learned later working with the press. she would've been happy to hop in the back of my humvee. the military was putting the requirements on me than the press. i happen to know that the first, mment,g up on linda's co the first reporter got into kuwait city. he embedded himself with a bunch of marines and bribed them by allowing them to use the first had to call their girlfriends in virginia. i want to touch on the idea of how the press handles these difficult stories. let's talk about when the press knows something and when it releases it, because there are questions of national security. putting soldiers in harms way. it is a great story. it is right in our wheelhouse. hraib.ew about abu g
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several of the other news media knew about it. how is it at the corporate level -- how to balance out that we know something that we are not going to put it out up because there is this question of national security? >> this is a question of you cannot win. cbs had the story about abu grh aib. had the pictures. he had a call from the secretary of the army saying you cannot run that story. it is going to endanger american lives. >> for some members of the audience -- they were not born when that happened. >> abu ghraib was a prison in iraq where the americans were running with her was tortured going on and pictures were taken. these pictures were horrific, showing the torture. soldiers smiling or
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giving the victory signal. it was just really horrible. so the military said american lives would be endangered. >> we went with it. you say what happens. we know show is there a pay off in freedom of the press when you expose something like this.
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yes there was. investigation of this type of torture stopped. the american public was so appalled that this had to end. i think that's a great effect. i also think that we will -- we don't know all ins and out tht the government does. we gave them the first chance. i still believe that was the right thing to do. >> your audience will probably be shocked at the amount of classified information that comes to reporting. one that shows the grotesque of over classification of material. there are people who are interested in the american public knowing what's going on. i can assure all of you that the "new york times" before we publish anything based on classified or sensitive information, we go to the relevant government agency or department and give them a fair
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say about why we shouldn't publish at a certain time why certain information should be held out to prevent ongoing operation. we don't want to write stories and lives at risk. we do believe an informed republic makes our country stronger and things like abu ghraib is important. this was a vast of diplomatic cables that were downloaded by a soldier in iraq. it was very careful and cautious. we had conversations with all of the relevant agencies. i sort of think, the take away is the american public learned how its government was operating. what it felt about certain allies and we asked them then secretary robert gates who was a former cia director what he thought about the wikileaks. he said as an intelligence
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professional i'm very upset when this happens. i don't see any specific damage to our national security programs because of the way the information was handled. >> i come from four years the a.p. as an intelligence writer. almost everything, every story involves classified material. you have to develop a relationship with the agencies that you've covering really have to develop a relationship with you where you're going to trust them when they ask you to hold something. again, just as linda was saying with the abu ghraib story, as a reporter, are they getting me -- they're asking me to hold this because of the embarrassment it will cause to the officials involved or will this actually
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cost lives. would it cost lives that is the reason that you hold something back. i was personally part of stories where i argued to hold back a location in one case of where a u.s. citizen who was suspected of plotting and carrying out terrorist attacks that it killed u.s. troops. we were as a nation, thinking about hitting him with a drone strike. i reached out to various different agencies, the other interesting thing is, some of them made different arguments and different opinions about it. the majority agencies involved, said you can't publish where this guy is. we don't want to hit him off and he flees and we lose our chance to get someone who is costing american lives everyday. we did withhold the location.
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other media outlets chose to publish the location. the a.p. stood firm. they i think our original decision was found according to a.p.'s own internal standards. we haven't published to this day. to my knowledge. >> this is another example of contrast to the path that's intrussive. they had a democratic press in the north, they had an anti-administration press in the south. the administration both north and south, suppressed it occasionally. over 300 newspapers in the north were put out of businesses, shut down and some cases were in prison during the course of the war for violating national security interest. they didn't use that phrase
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then. but the lincoln administration -- sometimes without lincoln's approval, sort of commanders in the field taking action aggressively against reporters in a way that suggests they had a much lower threshold for allowing reporters to make decisions about the balance, the trade-off between national security and accountability. back then they had a concept called seditious liable. the idea was if you reported false information and hurt the operation of the government, you could be in prison for it. that was a tradition that dates back to british law and had evolved in the american system. it's finally abandoned here during the mccarthy era. but in that era, it was totally illegal to suppress criticism of the government. you know how subjective that could be. that was what they did. >> let me press this issue of
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freedom of liberty and freedom of the press. we have question from one of our viewers. jimmy sharp asked about this question of leaks in the recent administrations and compromising security. thom mentioned wikileak that was one example and another example is edward snowden. how does that fit into this question of responsibility to on the one hand report the news or on the other hand not compromising national security along the way? >> thom, your organization got some of the snowden documents. >> well, again, we make a judgment based not only whether it's a leak but on whether the
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content or something that's valuable for the american people to know about it. the snowden situation raises so many question about the national security agencies. it also shows that the power of new media because glenn greenwald who was the lead reporter in that, is not fully affiliated with another news outlet. glenn now has a website where he's continuing to publish. this is really brought about kind of a revolution in the reach of independent journalism. for a long time i thought the bloggers were not necessary new media. anybody with a hand crank could stand on a corner in hyde park. lot of bloggers were teenagers in their boxer shorts writing
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these things. with the advancement of the internet and sort of global networking individuals with great sources and great reporting like a glenn greenwald can have the same impact as a major news organization. >> edward snowden knew that some of the documents possibly million documents that he handed over would be damaging to u.s. national security. but left it to the journalist to use their own discretion as to what should be published and what shouldn't. what was frustrating for the a.p., we were doing what i call a derivative reporting. initially, the guardian, the washington post, came out with their own individual stories but
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they would also publish the source documents that they based their stories on. while we had to say, the washington post, first reported, we can then draw our own conclusions and do our own reporting. as time has gone on, the national security agency and the white house have managed to convince both the washington post and i believe the "new york times" and the "guardian" and greenwald himself to publish fewer source documentser to block things out on them. now, as a reporter, covering somebody else's report on a document, i can't see or can only see part of, i'm in this uncomfortable position of taking another news agency's word for it or trying to find an independent source in the intelligence community to fill in those blanks for me.
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it got to be a very frustrating story to cover because i wasn't looking at the original and unable to use my own experience to judge for myself. >> i do want to interject something. i do feel like from a historian perspective here, there's something big going on here. there are these transformational shifts in the history of american media. you have a partnership press in the 19th century, you have independent press. now in the 21st century, thom and kimberly answers are both calling figures like glenn greenwald journalists, but there are some who would question whether there's any line between journalist and bloggers or whether in this world of new media there is any real media.
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like can anybody with a blog can call themselves a journalist. do these people hold themselves to the standard that the "new york times" or "cbs news" did in the 20th century. if they don't, maybe the obama administration it justified in sort of pursuing leakers in an aggressive way because it would be a chaos in the 18th century. now sort of emboldened by the power of the internet. >> the answer is yes and no. the bloggers think they're journalist but they're not. a journallest is a profession. where we learn to weigh the facts. we learn to verify the facts. verification is often the most difficult part of reporting. i know a lot of teachers are involved in this panel. some colleges are giving courses in news literacy.
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teaches students the question to ask. given the information called news, it is the responsibility to teach students questions to ask. when you hear this, what does it mean. so that day becomes critical listeners and are able know it's journalistic and come to their own conclusions. not just believe what they read. i have kids older who their news sources, the headlines service is cnn. they watch on the computer. >> would you call glenn greenwald a journalist? >> he's out for headlines. >> sort of have to jump in here. we talk about this all the time in the newsroom. where i come down personally, i'm an absolutist when it comes to the first amendment. anybody who wants to express
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their views, on paper or on the web are subject to those protections. you're so right talking about the professional standards. i just hope that the blogosphere are art of maturing. one of my great sort of journalistic mentors is peter parker as in spiderman who was a news photographer who said with great power comes great responsibility. that's what the new bloggers have to understand. >> i was going to say in defense of my colleagues, glenn greenwald and spencer ackerman who was working him at the time working with the editors, we as journalist looking at the same source material, might not agree with the headlines they chose. to me that meets the standards
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of being a professional journalist. did he start as a lawyer before he went into what some people in britain call advocacy journalism. but yes, just because i came a different brand of journalism where i am taught to keep my opinion out of my reporting, doesn't invalidate his. it doesn't invalidate us or msnbc who chose be to do as those original reporters in lincoln's time did to make it clear what their side was and make that part of their reporting. >> most of them weren't professionals in the civil war. my question for you, is there any blogger out there that would refuse to characterize as a journalist? is there anybody out there blogging about news that you would say that's not a journalist?
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>> i don't waste time reading the people. i know that people that i follow and trust. in terms of news literacy, i look at the byline. i look at that person's experience. i look at the institution that they're writing under and for and how many layers that person's information had to go through. did they go through a process where they weighed am i putting all sides of the story in here. >> my point, kimberly, the move from the 19th century to the twenty century -- 20th was a about professionalization. that move towards standards and practices. now if you open up the idea of the profession to anybody what blogs, perhaps you lose some of those gains of the 20th century. there's a trade-off that happened with this new media age. that's a serious threat to the century, i think.
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>> i'm curious, thom in your editing role and linda you just left cbs, boat of you were -- both of you were looking at the explosion and figuring out how to compete within it. my impression, was that there was an explosion of nonprofessional blogs for a while but that the public seems to be coming back to. they're getting their a.p. or cnn app they might subscribe to something you might say, is it journalism or is it not. like the breitbart site. that increasingly, they're going to people that they have learned to trust as opposed to just a random person's spouting their own version of reporting. >> i agree with you kimberly. i think that is the whole basis of journalism. you got to be telling them what's happening. you wrong all the time, people
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will start ignoring you. >> too often time, people go to blogs and websites. not because they're looking for opinions, they're going to blogs and website, to reinforce their preconceived notions. it worries me we have a proliferation of information. >> that's one the reasons i love old fashion newspapers. i still get them in print. while the web is the future, what's wonderful about when you turn the page, it's opportunity for a surprise. coming across an article you never thought you would read. that becomes the best thing you read all day. teachers listening, it's not just about increasing our readership, i would urge you to have your students at least once a week read an old fashion newspaper cover to cover.
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they'll be surprised what they see is there. when people sort of newsing a gators only for things they know they wanted to know about. that the opposite of democracy. that is a narrowing view. it become the daily me rather than you being part of this republic. >> they can't read it on their ipad. >> it's so much easier to ignore a headline. when i'm focused with my ipads in morning, national security, oh, that political story, i should read that one too. i see interesting headlines. like, i really want to read that later. i never get back to it. whereas when i sit down with the sunday "new york times," it's like -- there's that big glossy color photo on the "new york times" magazine. it's tactile, it's delicious. you can't stop turning the pages. >> i want to get back to protections then i will go to
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our questions. kimberly, talk about the -- [indiscernible]. is there an area now of concern there are those who argue that the obama administration, i'm it's true for bush administration as well went after sources. is there a concern at this war, that some of the protection afforded by that first amendment in terms of the freedom of the press are being eroded? >> just to catch everyone up. i'm going to have to the history here. he wrote a book about how the cia had planned to spread false information inside iran to damage their nuclear program.
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a leak investigation was launched and he has been investigated and prosecuted and this case worked its way up through the court. investigators want him to identify his source. he has refused and said he'll go to jail before identifying the source. meanwhile, they've also investigated the cia officer that they believe was his source. these two cases are kind of running in parallel. it's got a chilling effect for everybody else in the business. in my own personal situation, i was a minor part of a story that uncovered a second yemen under wear bomb plot. we all had -- they had uncovered the plot.
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i lean and -- eileen and i provided background of the story. the department of justice, seized our phone records for a certain period of time. every phone record that -- every phone they can identified is connected to us. apparently targeted some people on those lists, sat down with them, asked if they ever spoken to us. the a.p. published a story about the investigation into us and they listed our names. because of that, that had incredibly chilling effect around d.c. nobody wanted to talk to any of us for months. people were afraid. they thought phones were tapped. people in this community in
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washington d.c., it was sort of guilt by association. they didn't want to be seen with us or have a phone call record back and forth to us. i ended up learning all of the different ways that i didn't know before to protect my sources. i had always been careful about talking about sensitive things in person but noosers trying to sort -- now i was trying to mae my visual footprint. >> don't reveal all sources and methods. >> no. burn phones -- i'm going to list some things that are commonly known as used in the criminal under world to cover your sources. one of the things you communicate to people in a number of different ways.
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the fact that i learned how to do that to protect my sources, i thought what i was doing is protected by the constitution. i went through a long period of disillusionment with my government. attorney general eric holder said they won't take broad sweeping measures like that again. he said he was not informed at the time about what was being done to us. >> both of you, all three of you characterized yourselves at first amendment absolutist. >> to say any and ever, that's -- >> can give me an example of a leak you think was dangerous and
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criminal? >> prosecuting us or prosecuting the leaker? >> either. >> i imagine if you're a first amendment absolutist, you will give those people first amendment protection. >> thom, do you think anything out there -- >> even with the abu ghraib case, abu ghraib was a blot of the reputation of this great nation. it was an embarrassment. it showed us our worst. it outraged the muslim world as it should have. i have yet to find a senior general officer who can point a specific instance where abu ghraib put at risk for the american soldier. that was the argument they were making. it didn't happen.
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>> well, in the broad of things, people donate more money to al qaeda, probably. those thing happen but the direct cause of effect -- >> thom, do you think chelsea manning should not be in prison? do you think edward snowden when he comes back, shouldn't face prosecution? >> i think chelsea manning is in prison accepting the fate based on those decisions. >> for wikileaks. >> i heard so much about the snowden case, we don't know about him. snowden said he tried to work through his chain of command to bring to their attention these security flaw. the government says it is not true. likewise, we have not seen from
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either wikileaks stated by bob gates or yet from snowden the kind of risk to american security that could cause the kind of outrage to infringe the rights guaranteed by the first amendment. >> people are prosecuted under law and people are prosecuted under ucmj. what he has been prosecuted for is violating the terms of security clearance. very interesting case coming up now. it's going to be, the department of defense going after the s.e.a.l. who wrote the book about bin
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laden. there's a distinct difference between prosecuting those in civilian and prosecuting those in uniform. >> about the s.e.a.l. book, that's been negotiated between the s.e.a.l. lawyer and the pentagon. the s.e.a.l. said that the money was going to go to charities anyway. the impression i get, the pentagon wants to make sure that they make an example out of ths so nobody else comes out of here and writes a book. >> the last point to be made here, these are tough questions. the government only goes after those leakers that it doesn't want leaked. the government leaks classifies material all the time. >> is it classified if the
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president who has declassification authority says, yes, brief them on this? then it's not -- they choose to declassify it and then share it. >> again, the comparison to lincoln is instructive. lincoln took a hard line with rhetoric. he was quoted as saying things like how can i shoot a simple minded deserter. referring to people like copperhead democrat. critic of the administration who tried to stop the draft. who got arrested my a military officer. even lincoln settled this in public and in private behind the scene tried to get him released. he took a tough line but in practice, he used a lot of
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discretion. when he was banished during the civil war, democratic opponents of the administration was a former congressman running for governor of ohio. they banished him to the confederacy. he slips back into the country during the election of 1864. the military asked what they should do about it. he suggested they should just ignore it. what we do in practice, we expect our government to have these tough rules but not to enforce them. when they do enforce them what the obama administration has been doing lately, people are enraged. it's a very tenuous situation. >> one thing to add about that, i spoke to former bush lawyers who said one of the things unfair to the obama administration, their prosecuting more leaks than ever before. to imply the bush administration didn't want to. these lawyers told me that they
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wanted to prosecute as many leaks then but technology hasn't moved on to a point where it is now where it is so easy to traffic people's electronic footprint. there's more tools available to the lawyers and d.o.j. to go after everyone and anyone. >> i want to give an opportunity to our audience here in the studio. >> i do have an interesting question on a different topic who just chatted it. his name is paul frank. he's a social teacher from ohio. he wants to know what's the current status of the military press. he's thinking about world war ii more than the civil war. in the 20th century, the official military press, stars, stripes, public, communication effort all that was very important. he wants to know it any of it exist now and how important it is. perhaps thom might take the lead
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on that. jeff you might have insight as well. >> the private sector has provided a whole new array of privately owned military focus journals. at the same time, the pentagon's own internal official media really only serves internal dod. stars and stripes is a bit of a hybrid. it has some government money and some advertising. it suppose to be editorial independent which causes a lot of important. they do very important hard hitting stuff. at the same time, stars and stripes in an era of the internet, is sort of a failing business model. they are wrestling -- as the troops come home from iraq and afghanistan, they're back in garrison, the stars and stripes don't really matter anymore. that kind of media is going through the same struggle evolution that the rest of us are going through.
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>> pick up on that. stars and stripes is very important. this was a year when we were deployed army. we had 300,000 american soldiers in europe. the daily newspaper was stars and stripes. thom points out, not only are the soldier coming home from iraq and afghanistan, we've seen over the last couple of decades, u.s. military pulling its footprint back from overseas. the leadership is now reading in the local newspaper at fort hood not reading stars and stripes. all of the services also had their own prep. the army times and navy times. you're exactly right, those are private. people confuse those as well as stars and stripes thom pointed out as being public outpiece when they're not. they're private. there's been numerous times that
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really aggravated senior leadership of the united states army. i dare say probably the same thing with the navy and air force. i know several instances when i was in europe where stars and stripes published hard hitting things that were not necessarily popular with the commander abroad. it got things changed. on top of that, a lot of the important things were really -- only thing we had radio baghdad and voice of peace. over time, you had the a.m. and m.f. radio networks which were all run by the pentagon. they're very important to get the news and sports that the average person listens to radio. >> let's go to the audience.
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>> i want to ask you, please stand up so i can hear you pretty well. also identify who you are and what organization you come from. we'll start with this lady here in the second row. >> i have this problem talking about the american press where sometimes the term freedom of the press is treated like a punch line to a joke. when i talked to certain people about freedom of the press in the united states, they laugh. just in dealing with the crisis now in ukraine, the lines that have gone out about russia. it seems as though in foreign coverage, u.s. coverage of foreign crisis, we take a perspective and turn it into fact. the common line on say vladimer putin, is that he is an
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authoritarian tyrant. you're going to be hard pressed to find a media out let -- >> can we get to your question? >> i want to understand how you treat that, the difference between an american perspective which may not actually be in american interest and taking other nations perspective into consideration when you're reporting? >> okay. american perspective, are we too ethnocentric in report. >> one thing having come from the associated press, they labor over every word and every story to make sure that there aren't value judgments either personal or national value judgments going into the pieces.
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they're reaching up to 2 billion people all over the planet. you have to make sure they're reflecting the facts and not your point of view. words like dictator or authoritarian and i got memos where they have said, we now decided we can no longer refer to x leader this way. you must use the neutral term this. that came from either a reader or an editor somewhere in the process going, hey, i've noticed that phrase is cropped up in our reporting and it shouldn't will be. that be there. >> "new york times" is a -- has a clear institution in place to deal with it. we have a moscow bureau. vladimer putin has a way of
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getting his exact words portrayed to the american people. we cover his speeches and press conferences live on the ground. vladimer putin speaks to the readers of the "new york times" and the american public. we have people in eastern ukraine and western ukraine on the ground at great personal risk at great expense, talking to people there, their voices in realtime. yes we do cover the government view. i think any of those individual threads maybe unsatisfactory,f you weed all the -- >> my name is justin. i have two questions. there's been a criticism of the obama administration the most secretive administration in a while. jay carney, he responded that if
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you look at different pages in the "new york times," there are tons of stories that they don't want on the front page. how would you respond to that? >> you like that. >> do you think his response is fair? second is that as we move towards a model where we have more freelancers how do we keep those filters in the reporting? >> every president feels he and some day she is the one -- oner the "new york times" should pick on the most. we are an equal opportunity critic. we go after all administrations with the same vigor and enterprise on behalf of keeping all of you educated about what the government is doing in your name with your tax dollars representing you. the one kind of cultural
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difference i noticed, i need to be careful buzz it's not perfect, republican administration seem to view this, yes they get angry and they sort of seem to view it as the natural order of things. sheep dog in wolf. they don't hate each other, the sheep dog is protecting the sheep and the wolf is hungry. it's the way they are designed. democrats seem to have drunk their own cool laid that the media is liberal which we're not. i just don't get that. >> it's the whole idea how we change stringers. >> i started as a stringer/free lancer for the first six or seven years of my career. there's generally enthusiasm the organizations i worked for had a way of indoctrinated me into
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their system. except for voice of america. i learned a lot of my early reporting sort of as it values how to weigh sources from that bureau chief. all of my work passed through editors. it passed through cbs radio editors, washington post editors, "baltimore sun," san francisco chronical. that's how i learned. i see the same process happening with n.a.p., as they've got in afghanistan and islamabad, you got this amazing local staff. because they're representing what is perceived as an american organization, even though it's international. they're going out into dangerous areas. it's the editors. it's the internationally trained editors on the ground there who are working with them and it's
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also the folks back in cairo, new york and d.c. getting their material. the advantage is, it was just a local staff. we didn't have a staff with an internationally trained person because you got pro there is now who know what they're doing. the advantage you as a reader, viewer is that you are hearing from someone who didn't parachute from the outside and is explaining a culture to you that they have just learned. you're getting that local knowledge so that can be a real force multiplier for a newsroom. when i first came up in the business, that didn't seem to happen so much. >> how is the media changing? you catched across your career and thom as well in "new york times." back in the day we had bureaus
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from cbs and "new york times." it seem to me, those are now shrinking and becoming fewer in number. we're now depending more on the more that's actually there. we touched on this as well in terms of the impact of the internet. how do you think the media is changing with some of the aspects? >> to give you an example, when i started on the news, getting them was a big story everyday. we would tell you the story and show you footage from two or three days ago. then we got video taped. video tape, you didn't have to develop. there was a delay but not as much of a delay. then, in the gulf war, i was the executive producer of the weekend news sunday morning. we had an 11:00 newscast. i remember sitting in the
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control room. we had a transmitter on a flat bed truck. sitting in the control room where they found the footprint of the satellite. you saw american troops walking in kuwait. now of course with the arab spring, it's instantaneous. the question is, how do you know what you see is right? nbc had a problem few weeks ago, i read about. i'm not citing them in particular. a great reporter there, middle eastern reporter, used footage and he said he couldn't date it. it was footage that we had. how do you know -- one the dangers we have, how do you know it's true.
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you can make footage be anything you want. again, the time tells about the footage from africa, those kids that were taken by that group. how did you know the footage was real. the reporter was careful to say, we haven't verified it yet. how do you verify footage? there are companies that can look at the digital footage and tell if it's been indoctrinated and it takes work. >> i have to play professor again. that's a perfect example of how technology had the same impact in the civil war. they didn't have satellites and they didn't have cell phone cameras but they had the telegraphs. the telegraphs sent instant communication in the way they were unused to and created all kinds of problems with how to understand. they used to have the standard tag line that would run under a lot of stories especially from
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the battle front, which is important is true. which seems to be a model of journalist in my era. importance is true. >> thom, we come to you, kimberly enjoy nothing more than a cup of coffee. [indiscernible] how does the "times" deal with this instantaneous news. how is the "times" dealing with that change? >> all i have is my tie which is dinosaur skeleton. it's a a father's day present from my son.
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the challenge facing the "new york times" and all of what i say is pride is the mainstream media is finding a business model that allows you to continue doing the sweeping broadly based reporting for the integrity and checks and counterchecks and still make money at it. the print edition is a wonderful thing. it's not dead yet. we aren't looking at new platforms. our goal is to get "new york times" quality reporting to an ever growing number of consumers through platforms that they are more comfortable with. the internet is important. your phone is important. we have all of these new apps and programs to get "times" quality work. >> now i met the daily beast. which is the
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it only exist online. there is a phone app but not yet an ipad app. it relies on amazing pictures. the top five stories on the site will come up on your phone and it will automatically flash through them so that you get a couple of seconds looking at one. it's like, i got to see what that is. it's designed to be -- those headlines that are provocative get you to read that article. the photograph is provocative. the other thing that the daily beast encourages its contributors to do is to go out on television and radio to talk about the stories to drive people to the site. that becomes the business model to get the name out. especially since the daily beast is so new, it was started by tina brown to be sort of a news
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version of vanity fair. past couple of years, it merged with "newsweek." then they parted because "newsweek" was losing a lot of money. the model is still fighting to become profitable. the strength of the "new york times," they still have their old readership that likes to hold a newspaper but they're also getting the young crowd in with the new apps. linda, what's going to happen to the 6:30 p.m. network newscast? nobody i know watches them. >> people of a certain generation watch them and will continue to watch them. we also have a website and we're exploring ways of doing constant news digitally. i'm sure that people ask what the future is going to be. anybody can tell you, doesn't know what they're talking about.
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it's evolving into something where five years from now, we'll have a new system of getting the news. it's already, when i started, we got 35% of the audience. there were three networks. now all three networks get about 20 something -- all three get 20% of the audience. it's already so fragmented. it will continue to fragment more. there will probably be a place for that. the mornings becoming much more important. why? because that's where they make money. if you can up the ratings in the morning, it's now hard news primarily, it's done very well. the time of day will change and the emphasis will change. there will always be for people want -- you will be watching and tune in as you want to catch up
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on the news. >> in the 19th century, the parties paid for newspapers. when newspaper editor needed money, lincoln gave them a job. the editor of the philadelphia newspaper that supported the administration was also the secretary of the senate. that was the relationship. in the 20th century, independent commercial newspapers relied on advertising. that's what thom, kimberly and linda are talking about. the advertising revenue is drying up. you don't know what's going to replace it. as a historian you know that change is inevitable and these things evolve in ways that create new opportunities at the same time that they eliminate old ways. >> we got only a few minutes left and wrap up with at following question. that is, we certainly said abraham lincoln as one of the greatest and figures from the past. whether it's washington, grant,
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lee, mcarthur, eisenhower. i'm curious, what journalist past or present, do they ventrate. in the cbs radio newsroom in new york. on the wall was a small cut out in the wall. in that cut out only maybe a foot square, is a picture of the map of the vietnam. cronkite was reporting the evening news and what was going on in vietnam. that iconic piece is there to remind viewers. what journalist past or present you vint rate from your
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profession? >> walter of course, told -- >> you explain for a 14-year-old or a 15-year-old student why they're important? >> merrill was the first great journalist of broadcasting. he went where he saw a story and he reported it and he didn't favor anybody. this is a time before there was much regulation. he said what he thought. there's a danger to that because he was extremely powerful. he thought something and talked about it and we didn't agree with it. i always saw that danger as well. walter cronkite, was probably the most neutral person on air that has been. people identified with him in
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those days as uncle walter. people turned on the cbs news to be reassured. when we went to vietnam and he saw what was really going on there, he came back and said, we ought to get out of vietnam. when johnson saw that, he said if i lost walter cronkite, i lost the country. he was that powerful. it's a scary thing that he was that powerful and getting out of the war scene was a good thing. those are my two -- >> one quick follow up on behalf of all the teachers, can you tell us one personal detail or anecdote about walter con cite that can help some classroom teachers bring him to life for students? was he different behind the camera than he was on camera? >> he was very funny. he used to give a christmas party and had a player piano. i was the first woman producer on the evening news.
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at this christmas party, the first time i went, my name is linda. he said hello mary. i didn't correct him. then we were out in california. we were interviewing both candidates for the democratic primary. in those day, it was humphrey and mcgovern. i was charged with taking walter to dinner. i knew he loved trader vicks. he was a real journalist. he was really great. >> any reporter who wants to cover american military forces has to read ernie pile. the great world war ii correspondent who died in his coverage. his essays are full of hometown voices and great color and great
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sort of understanding of the common soldier's life. i think there's just as much great coverage today. i have three time colleges, who great personal risks and elevated the craft. not only did they accept the risks and have a great reporter's eye but they're also beautiful writers. lot of them were correspondents, shout. these guys know how to draw you in with a whisper. >> i had great pleasure of visiting ernie pile's grave. ernie pile is buried in a place called punch bowl on the island of hawaii. the other book that i would
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recommend myself would be the book up front by bill mauldin. he was a cartoonist. he remembers as a youngster reading bill mauldin's book up front. i got a sense whats it like to be an individual soldier. >> real fast, "new york timeses" before that washington post correspondent who used his arab heritage and knowledge of the language to show americans and beyond a picture of iraq and the middle east that had so many more layers i could ever access or most journalist could access he really made those people human for all of us. two examples, a.p.'s edie
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letter. she's a survivor. she's covering the u.n. now. i respect her bravery and her longevity and my personal example, cnn's christiane amanpour. watching her to put leaders on the spot and ask them tough questions. it's the type of journalist i always wanted to be. >> this has been enormous great pleasure. i got to acknowledge and thank them for taking time for this presentation. >> it was wonderful. it was a learning experience for me. i want to thank everybody for participating in jeff's moderating. those of you watching who want to follow us and what the panel talked about, we've createddest
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essays on our website. thank you for watching and i hope you will extend that conversation online, thank you. >> you're watching american history tv. 48 hours of programming on american history every weekend on c-span 3. follow us on twitter @c-span history for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest history news. >> 40 years ago, this july, the house judiciary committee began hearings to consider articles of impeachment against president nixon.
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first a brief conversation with william cohen. he was a young republican member of the committee in 1974. he gives behind the scenes account of the proceedings. >> secretary william cohen, you were a freshman representative from maine. .. ..


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