Former Washington Post Executive Editor Ben Bradlee
Considering the Washington Post's current descent into neo-con dystopia, this weeks passing of former Executive Editor Ben Bradlee, still brings back memories of that once great newspaper during the time of the Nixon/ Watergate scandal.
It hard to imagine in this digital age of ours-with its explosion of alternative news sources, some providing the factual reporting of what's really happening which is fast relegating print newspaper into journalistic oblivion coupled with their becoming a tool of the government reciting its propaganda-that an American newspaper, which at the time supported real investigative journalism, could have such an impact on the nation revealing the criminality that reached the highest levels of our government.
That's because the Post had integrity with Ben Bradlee at the helm; someone who encouraged the efforts of reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to take their investigation wherever it might lead.
This from former Post publisher Katherine Graham who wrote in her 1997 memoir, "Personal History, "As executive editor, Ben was the classic leader at whose desk the buck of responsibility stopped. He set the ground rules-pushing, pushing, pushing, not so subtly asking everyone to take one more step, relentlessly pursuing the story in the face of persistent accusations against us and a concerted campaign of intimidation" by Nixon and his minions.
Of course journalistic integrity wasn't the exclusive purview of the Post. That came earlier from former reporter, war correspondent turned television anchor Edward R. Morrow of CBS News and after him Walter Cronkite.
Twenty years before Watergate on his TV program "See It Now", Morrow openly took on the red-baiting Senator Joe McCarthy of Wisconsin exposing his "Red Scare" tactics filled with contradictions, the unsubstantiated accusations and lies.
By 1969 Cronkite's reporting on the Viet Nam war was "We are in a stalemate"that the only rational way out will be to negotiate-this after personally meeting on the scene with the American commander in Vietnam General Creighton Abrams who told him "We can't win this war". Old "Uncle Walter" was the most trusted man in America at that time and though he didn't actually say the war was lost, "stalemate" and "negotiate" meant it was not going to be won. That's something unimaginable today coming from our corporate controlled media.
Now we get the likes of a David Gregory-although he was recently forced to resign as host of "Meet the Press" apparently because he wasn't "edgy" enough-who once accused Glenn Greenwald of aiding and abetting NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden with "Why shouldn't you, Mr. Greenwald be charged with a crime?" a false accusation usually associated with some Obama administrative flak rather than the moderator of a Sunday "news" program. Gregory has since been replaced by NBC's Chuck Todd.
As for Todd lately he's been palavering how Ebola and ISIS in the news "hurts Democrats" and "helps Republicans" when anyone with a brain realizes it doesn't matter which major party comes out on top in November. They're both underwritten by big corporate interests to do their bidding while Ebola and ISIS serve to keep the political waters roiling and become the latest distraction for our politicos to obsess over-while the real problems plaguing America are left wanting.
As for Woodward he's gotten so close to administration higher ups-who court his celebrity status to feed him "tidbits" of insider gossip as Dubya Bush did in Woodward's book, "The War Within: A Secret White House History (2006-2008)" which Bloomberg reviewer Craig Seligman said of Bush, "It must have been a challenge for him to walk so confidently with Woodward's lips attached to his backside". It's hard to imagine Woodward was once a sharp, investigative reporter under Bradlee's tutelage.
So it goes, with Bradlee deceased another American journalistic icon with integrity is gone who Bernstein remarked years ago, "There aren't many Bradlee's around".
It's safe to say the "glory days" that once occurred at the Post-and for that matter all the American MSM-are over.
Now from the Post we get disinformation, misinformation, government propaganda expounded as the "news", neo-con supported ideology on its oped pages, plus celebrity gossip or other mindless distractions hardly representing even a shell of its once formidable self.