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Brzezinski and Woodward Speak at Inaugural Al Jazeera U.S. Forum

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Brzezinski and Woodward Interviewed at Inaugural Al Jazeera U.S. Forum

Having attended the Inaugural Al Jazeera U.S. Forum, with its emphasis on the new age of journalism (=social+traditional media), two days late in writing anything about it, I appeal to authority--the two biggest names I encountered: Bob Woodward and Zbigniew Brzezinski. That whole day, May 18, 2011, was amazing, because so many important things were said, so many crucial ideas traded.

An interview of Bob Woodward piloted the proceedings.

What do democracy and dictatorship have in common?

Both lack transparency.

Woodward criticized the excessive secrecy of government, even in the wake of the hush-hush plot that successfully entrapped bin Laden.

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And one of these secret keepers is a former journalist, Al Gore, next to whom it was Bob's privilege to sit at a recent conference in Colorado.

"Tough company," said Bob.

"He thinks he invented journalism and the Internet."

Woodward said that Gore admitted to a transparency percentage of one under Clinton.

Were the president to write a tell-all memo, then the transparency figure would increase by one percentage point.

"Lots more needs to be transparent," said the interviewer.

 Journalists must bite the bullet, dig deeper into the White House ventilation system, said Woodward.

The American public is ignorant about the Arab Spring. Why? Because our image is low in the Middle East and distrust prevails?

There is too much focus on those in power, not enough on the protagonists, said Woodward.

He admitted that he didn't pursue the WMD issue--the catalyst of the Iraq war exploited by Bush. He admitted to believing there were WMD. Christopher Hitchens called him a voice of the rich and powerful.

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A jack of some trades, writing and editing among them, Marta Steele, an admitted and proud holdover from the late sixties, returned to activism ten years ago after first establishing her skills as a college [mostly adjunct] professor in three (more...)

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