Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  June 10, 2012 11:15pm-12:00am EDT

11:15 pm
and in the summer and probably going to read a new novel called the age of wonder that has been getting a lot of attention and i haven't read bob kerrey's most recent lbj book yet, but i certainly have it on my bed side table and will be reading it sometime this summer. >> more information on this and other reading list, visit tv.org. >> closer prize-winning author, david marinus visiting places like kenya and can't use to examine the president's family tree the. booktv will give you a preview, including our trip to kenya in january 2010. join us sunday, june 17 at 6:00 p.m. eastern and later 730
11:16 pm
caucusing that come your phone, e-mails and tweets on c-span 2's booktv. >> from politics & prose bookstore in washington, jeff himmelman recounts the "washington post" ben bradlee, this is about 45 minutes and it contains language that some may find offensive. [inaudible conversations] >> good evening. i'm bradley graham, current editor a lot with my wife, alyssa at politics & prose. on behalf of everybody here at the store, i would like to welcome you. as those of you who attend our events know, we try to have an author come as soon as possible after his or her book is released. most of the times the authors who have appeared in at least one or two other places before reaching pmp and will have given
11:17 pm
interviews to news organizations. but tonight, we actually have a world exclusive. this is the first time that jeff himmelman is speaking publicly about his new biography of former "washington post" editor, ben bradlee. and the book, "yours in truth" has 30 generated some controversy. the controversy flared last week when a portion of the book was exported in new york magazine and the fallout had as much to do with another great "washington post" legend, bob woodward as it has with then bradley. i will leave it to jeff to address the substance of the dispute. by way of introduction, let me just say that the biography is nearly 500 pages long and contains considerably more than a news story so far have covered. i found the book quite engaging and it certainly captures the
11:18 pm
much celebrated bradlee and all his energy, flayer, courage, profanity, charisma and impact. jeff had remarkable access to bradley's personal papers, bradlee himself and to many who have known bradley. jeff came to this project is a friend of the bradley family and also as a friend and collaborator of woodward's was just journalistic mentor. in fact, just takes up the first 30 pages or so of the book with a lengthy description of how the project of falls. that is how it was initially envisioned as a book to be read with radley and came inside a book by joseph about bradley. and jeff notes for leon began to fence the trickiness of writing, as he puts it, about your mentors mentor. there's quite a bit of jeff
11:19 pm
himself in this book, which is at least a title, the personal portrait of ben bradlee. the time the book becomes as much about jeff's own journey of discovery and just encounters with woodward acid is an account of bradley's wife. jeff plans to speak for about 20 minutes or so and take questions. if you'd like to ask a question, please step up to the microphone here in the center of the room and afterwards, shuffle remains to sign copies of his book paired so please if you haven't already, silencer cell phones and join me in welcoming, jeff himmelman. [applause] >> thank you all for coming. it's another to be here. i had a couple of disclaimers, but i just had a conversation with the folks at c-span and
11:20 pm
what i was going to say as i was prepared and from using language it is difficult to talk about ben bradlee without using cursor is. so i'm happy i should be able to give you been in full color. for those of you who read as bradley was saying you read the review of the book in the post this sunday, for those who have come to hear me talk about my book i think will be disappointed. this book is about and in a state where bradley was saying about it being a 500 page book is true. and so medical here tonight is to convey some of who ben is to you in the hopes that the find in this captivating as i did and enjoyed reading about him. as a quick word, i started working with men and not writing about him. i ended up writing a book with his son, quinn. before that happened, i was working with then. first thing he did was give me access to his archives. it wasn't the whole thing at
11:21 pm
first. bush is a big set of boxes with a bunch of letters. when i got to know him blistered his letters. so i thought i would read was get a sense of how i got to know him. the first letter that appears in this book is from 1977 and a man had written to katharine graham, the publisher of the post and he mentioned that her father and former husband must be turning over in their graves because the way you are dragging down what used to be a wonderful newspaper print in my humble opinion the persons responsible for the washington post are benjamin c. bradlee, the editorial page editor. i hope it's not too far off when you fired those two words. this is ben's response. your letter to mrs. grammer might read the story but to b.c.
11:22 pm
fields with a drink in his hand. his secretary interrupted him repeatedly to tell them that a strange man want to see and refuse to say what he wanted to see them about. finally tell the secretary to get the man unequivocal answer. tell him to go fuck himself. as benjamin c. bradlee. import you get the flavor of ben. another of my favorite letters that i came across very, very early as he appeared on a panel and the editor had watched his panel and he said, how ironic it was to watch you display your arrogance is to criticize the media credibility study that the public is the press as being arrogant. after another second paragraph of going after ben sent a letter cordially insincere. this is ben's response in full. editors to run the risk of appearing arrogant they choose to disagree with anybody who calls americans. you sound like one of those publishers who aims to please
11:23 pm
and give them what they want. no one will call you arrogant that way. i will call you newspaperman either. i'm so happy i can curse, by the way. this opens up all kinds of possibilities. this is one that my wife loves. this is a letter to an old dci named frank waldrep is kind of a legend who i knew way back when. dear frank, i'm late in answering your letter. it is not i have all that much on my mind be in imminent fatherhood trying to still woodward for half a million bucks, worrying about the raspberry plants they just put in and generally feeling aftermath and midgets. the final story i would tell about ben's language has been told before, but some of you don't know it. at the same story told at his retirement roast in the newsroom in 1891 when he left the paper there's a star reporter named
11:24 pm
let them is the self-described expert on usage and grammar. at one point the secretary at the time, debby weekend kind of scuttled over to image he said, have a question for you. debbie, what is that? is dickhead one word or two? said that gives you a sense of the color. every time i walked into a soft as one thing or the other. to bring the letter and say gosh, you know, did you work hard on this letter? or did you think about this? is that a number of letters i wrote twice you could put in your ear. the man does not mess around. but it's obviously about more than a letters in the books about what the mothers all over the primary documents that i came across in the course of this research and reporting are really part of the story. they tell the story in a way that somewhat shockingly true and that's one of the most
11:25 pm
interesting things i discovered is this is a man who did do anything publicly. one of the interesting things and i stick the chronology at this moment. a lot of what people would describe who have known then as his personal charisma, his way as being. in 1969 versus editor -- the psychiatrist who came to interview them and then participated in something called a longitudinal study. over the course of this interview, 18 pages long, the memo that, psychiatrist, this guy kind of falls in love with men. so you're reading 18 pages and you watch this process on hold and a staggering. he includes in the 18 page typewritten report, he concludes, i left the interview feeling a greater capacity as a human being just from having known him. and then he penciled in by hand,
11:26 pm
psychiatrist, an illusion, gas, but when the personality creates the illusion? if you want to know what part of ben reilly is, why he was a successful newspaper editor, that day. he made people feel they have the capability to go out again and inspired a whole newsroom and ultimately that is the first thing in the book in the proper chronology because that's all you need to know. it's about more than charisma as you can imagine. one of the first historical episodes are included in the book is the pentagon. the reason that is so is because ben and everyone will tell you, watergate is not possible without the pentagon paper. the post really figured out what was or who they were and who they wanted to be with the reporting and publishing of that story. and there was a moment prior to the pentagon paper, where ben had decided to publish something and it was an important table setting moment for what would unfold with the pentagon papers. he wrote to her in 1968 with a
11:27 pm
number no one else has ever seen and he told her he wanted to tell her why didn't i publish this report one day in advance. she said i don't think it's very shattering newspaper said okay, but this is how i want to do it. this is their duty to publish news when it is news that means when we learn, we check if bona fide we secured information legally and checked it in a chair so publishing a stand against the national or public interest. a newspaper that you do anyone of these pressures takes a sure step perceptible, however small out of the newspaper. of course no one of these steps would miss out on the business but that's not the issue. each such step wheelchairs to someone else. often in this country president is representative and that's unfortunate because the pressures they are. a newspaper that yields to any one of these pressures sacrifices one of its most precious assets with vitality commitment and respect. what's the use of any good news
11:28 pm
first and we don't bring it with the something vitally important unless the reasons are ironclad. it's a pretty gangster statement of which are policy is. so the pentagon paper for the moment -- versus what is the moment of watergate? the post got the papers. so the times had beaten them to it and this drove them crazy. so the national editor of the paper knew the guy who was leaking the papers then he went and got them an olive branch about 10:30 and they basically decided over the course of the day they hash it out, have the lawyer saying don't do it in a day and a with a call from ben pallas and they're having this argument and kay says, go ahead. and in that moment they would base a bigger guy was and "washington post" and that's
11:29 pm
what sets everything was. so then came to the post and 65. he'd been at "newsweek" since 1963. he was a european correspondent came to d.c. and in 1961 he became the bureau chief for "newsweek" magazine. after phil graham, kay graham's husband died. she heard that bradley might be leaving or thinking of leaving. she want to keep them so she had a much longed and family said he would give his last went to the managing editor and then came to the paper. what is always sad when he came to the paper and the first thing he wanted to do was remove the agendas from the post reporting and he wrote a memo to the reporter. he wrote a mobile to a foreign correspondent and laid out exactly what he is trying to do in the newspaper. we're not trying to make this paper flatter appeared which are
11:30 pm
to make it flare. from the flavor and individuality and dilution is in fact an effort to remove the veil stands. they make their position clear when they caught the news. a colorless smash the response. we want flair, audacity and a flashing quality. you've got those qualities. their value, for which i care about something entirely different. toth was the effort we make to become a newspaper by flavor come individuality and pollution will be above all, fair. so that was transmission when he came in 65. shortly after became executive editor in 1968, said he read the "washington post." i assume most of you in the style section. the status section was ben's idea. so he thought about basically out of nothing, but a team of people on it and after became executive editor ingenuous 69
11:31 pm
from the first style section came out. so it is something we as modern newspaper readers are completely accustomed to. this lets that section in every newspaper group at don graham also tell you that was the first room and ask them about the style section very late to realize the style section was one of the last chapters are gleefully reported. when asked about the style section is that i think that may be my greatest. i said really? watergate, pentagon papers. he said from a pure journalistic dignity. that's very powerful. he doesn't make that kind of statement. dissection showed up washington and it eventually came and wrote all of these great writers were set free and that was transmission and it's very important part of the modern newspaper in the post that a lot of people don't know and just accepted it as part of the newspaper. one thing that happens just literally the day before the
11:32 pm
first section ran an sets up everything that would come later as lynn downey who replaced them as the executive editor of the paper in 1991 was doing a series on the means of most practices in on some crazy staff and then had a meeting in his office a seeming to love guys who are placing on its iraq to downey's desk after the meeting said these guys are in my office a little while ago and said they were set% of the same in some of the town. with publisher series the pool the advertising and this is downey speaking. he said i think cited by heart stopped. i just didn't know what to say. i was worried that ben would say next. yvonne paz pretty puts his hand on my shoulder and say just get a great kid and walks away. we did do the serious committed publish the post last about a million dollars in advertising and never heard another word about it. imagine a conversation today. just imagine really truly.
11:33 pm
as we talked about before, there have been some talk in new york magazine which mostly focused on watergate. for those of you who are aware adults spend much time talking about for now, i just want to talk about one really lovely quote about ben's view on all of this. when the post when the are for the watergate coverage, bob and carlo were very upset that the post had won the pulitzer and not dave who were they reporting. and then was on the pulitzer board at that time that that may he maneuvered us to the paper it. there's suspicion on both sides so we went in and gave the big page or why they should have gotten a really screwed us on this one. a version of that meeting the status. i said to them in the last analysis it had not been the god can you be pumping gas somewhere. [laughter] so this is a colorful man,
11:34 pm
folks. but the guts of the brands. i think everybody talks about the guts of bradley and he has huge guys. you need them for one second you feel it. but the guts of kay graham is a totally different thing and it's something i tried to restore. i did my best, but one of the things that i think don graham, add small, liz hilton and all the people around k. grants to states and legacy and they gave me full of dense correspondence. and i mean, it was revolutionary to my understanding of the relationship among the most exciting things you could ever read. i'm not moment at the pentagon papers as an indicative moments. then had a lot of courage. i try to find some way for some of their relationship in the book and they go back and forth and i saw that i talk about all
11:35 pm
that. ultimately nobody knew him as their compact and it works and that is what is important about it. but in 1995, a book party when his number came out, it will make you see how much you had to leave for in the 475 page book. but at the end of the party, he realized he had given to the boat, his boss, the one who paid him in meeting the wealthy man, everything. he wrote her a note and at the end of the note he wrote this. catherine coming up in the most important force in my life. you've been a joyous partner who makes my heart beat every time i see you. there's nothing that can change that, not even my own clumsiness. the party was such a generous gesture. your words are so graceful and welcome, the way everything about you comes across to me. love, then. and i think that's a really wonderful summation of who they were and who they are.
11:36 pm
i do want to talk to much longer, but the one acting want to talk about because one has addressed this at all although i did hear today i got ejected the because you know me might want to talk to me about this in a really, really hope he does. but the janet cooke story, i don't know how many you are familiar with it, but just to give you a bit of background, 1980, a woman named janet cooke came in choosing john black women in a putter on the 14th and u. poverty and drugs that she had heard a rumor through her editor and some others that there is a new kind of hearing those closer to the skin of its users. your editor can implement sender have to find it. and she heard while she was out doing reporting, tantalizing to drug treatment center that says there is a robotic did it come from treatment. she brought the specter of
11:37 pm
editors. if you can get back, that's a front-page story. so in that moment she decided and a boy to match the description. ultimately she decided to write a piece that is very committed very vivid and full of impressionistic detail, that somebody didn't cry right away. but i survived the editorial process on this published in september 1980 in front page jimmy's world. she claimed behind the scenes the boy's name is tyrone and credo identity for hemp is actually not true. but he ran on the front page and immediately the d.c. government said were looking for the kid. mayberry said i think this is made up and ban an entire editorial chain sued by the story. there was an enormous amount of scrutiny and it would likely have never been discovered that
11:38 pm
she needed up touching that won a pulitzer prize. and they're a host of ironies which i explored the book which would take way too long to explore now, but one of them is she won a feature writing pulitzer prize. that category have been created two years earlier by benjamin bradlee. had he not create it would've not come down on dissent is one of these strange things things about the way the whole story unfolded. the mid april she wins the pulitzer. the post reprints or store the beautiful glamour shot of her and then the next day, then phone rings and towers time and commented managing editor editor and on ben's been summoned from ap and they posted the same thing, which is the buyer janet cooke submitted over pulitzer package doesn't match the buyer we have on file. and what ben said to me was my heart sank because they knew right then and done graham told you they knew right then the jig
11:39 pm
was up. but it took janet a couple of days to really just say i did it, about 36 hours. what happened next is the reason why in telling you the story. a massive fraud qaeda perpetrated on the "washington post." among the pose of the. so what do you do? your ben bradlee. and ben have been part of the pushing institution, which while some of now, but that assumes the second month we have a newspaper in the journal. so then couldn't assign, but he given free reign to fit everybody at the paper can cooperate with the story. there's not going to be one sordid fact about this falsehood, do you suppose that we're not going to get first. and when people ask me about that at the time and when i ask them about it, what he said as he learned the lesson on the
11:40 pm
lesson of the watergate is not always the crying. it's what she do after. and what ended after by opening up the whole paper with the whole participation and with the envoy was able to do was remarkably talented man was he wrote a piece for the sunday paper after they found out that it is one of the most stunning pieces of 40 journalists and you will come across that relied on heavily because the top to everybody right after it happened. at that moment when ben said we're not going to cover this up, we are going to get it out ourselves, that moment probably save 10 and probably save the washington post at least for a time. and one of my favorite letters and an advocate onto taking your questions in just a moment, is this kid aikido. i have to get permission to use any letters in the book and use people name. so for the first letter, go fuck yourself, and to call her
11:41 pm
daughter and i finally reached on the phone. she called me from colorado. i said look, when letter. i'm a jesusand above. i said this in the colorful language. she goes, that's dad. so is a really fun process. but for this process, i wanted to use the letter n. is a because his name is so obnoxious sounding. it reached him wherever he lives in need no memory but a letter. he said you can use it, but you can't use my name. so i said fine. this guy had gone to jail him there had been a media panel who holds the media accountable and benefit our readers. this kid wrote the brevity of her plays such an earnest question was amusing to many of your audience. other members of your audience remained uneasy with the answer because it's not believable. the american people not to forget what the pulitzer host of the "washington post" or the person chat room makes some
11:42 pm
corporate media. just as important i hope you remember this lesson they do that one before answering the next time someone asked see who keeps the press on it. very truly yours. and this is ben's response. my god you have gotten pompous at an early age. [laughter] or paraphrase question asks how often do we seek immediate mid to inaccurate and the janet cooke cases of the "washington post" in may to inaccurate reporting. he saw the washington post. he saw the "washington post" do it on the front page. use of the "washington post" apologized in an editorial. you saw the "washington post" en masse returns a pulitzer prize. there quite literally was others said they could have taken the department of criticism. unique in the handles of journalists in. i'm speechless at your injunction that i should lesson in the longer. before you settle down if they start broker or whatever.
11:43 pm
and join the racquet club or whatever. [laughter] try to think for yourself if i may give you a piece of advice. [laughter] so that's been. i want to read to close here to close because i think airports and i'm a pretty clear what's gone on in my life in the last 10 days. they're a little long and i hope you would humor me, based in their important. one is from ben and westrum rosenfeld, the editor. so then give a speech in april april 19 e4 before nixon resigned but after was vindicated and banners very hesitant to point towards deeper truth. he so is to get the story today, take a bite out of the apple and you never get a full body. that's always been his philosophy. the truth emerges as one of his main catchphrases. but this is a really important event you almost never see anything like this. april 16, 1974 in atlanta. many obstacles on the road.
11:44 pm
really such a thing as absolute truth. we can only pray what we think is the truth of the time. we're told is the truth at the time. reading them is a fellow program, only the first rough draft. or than any other profession were legitimately subject to second-guess. unique among manufactured products for newspapers completely different every 24 hours and can be recalled from states that judgment. it's producing the adversary environment are the goals i recorded an conflict with the goals of the reporter and the reader. it is a stately conflict against concrete importance and meaning to the first amendment, freedom of the press. without that freedom there is a con lake. without the conflict there is no truth. and then in terms of what some have learned in my reporting and editing this really says and says a lot better. this is a measure editor supervising those reporters for everyone working on the watergate story from a solidly
11:45 pm
played by jack worked in the movie for those of you who remember the movie. i talked with in september of last year and a soap within some of my reporting was going to be -- doesn't challenge the facts of reporting, but that he was going to pose a few questions about the narrative of watergate. this is what he said. he said we can talk about this endlessly, but the sun sets. was a piece of old. it told the truth. that was invited every last detail, it was right in more detail than any story if ever dealt with concert with the kind of tenure. it was brass solid. you can argue about this energy about that, but the truth -- the truth is great wrongdoing revealed at great odds shook up the country and fax it to this day. the paradigm of sapphire watergate investigation. everybody earns his stripes,
11:46 pm
everybody. the fact that they were perfect human beings, the fact that they didn't make perfect judgments every time answers there. i think it's a very powerful statement. at last, my favorite waterfall and that'll take some questions. this is a 1992, section at the end of the book where do one thing the page and it sort of ride data from the bradley file unassertive assembler to tell you a little bit of the story about ben and i hope it comes true. this is my favorite of all the letters in its advice to live by for all of us. dear at, don't second guess yourself and don't let that. i'm quite sure i would've made the same decision you did. let's take a bright star, so it wasn't. big deal. fuck dam, band. [applause] thank you everybody for coming. [applause] >> any questions?
11:47 pm
[inaudible] >> anyway, it's online. blue feeling mac collins book leaked. i also hope to be reviewing your book you going to check with the editors about it. now, whether or not i'm reviewing your book, i'm going to be bringing up new york magazine's article in pointing out that the essential two things aren't really relevant anymore. the parking garage is only woodward now would know. but a copy of "the new york times" can be verified whether or not were told the truth and there are three alternatives at the paper is delivered to them and one of them its journey did not tell the truth. but let's deal with them being
11:48 pm
which is not watergate, but when we get started they wish it was a lot of data. years and years ago as kate graham had said to washington, stop lobbyists and meet me for dinner outside it would've come. when a situation where granddaughter wanted to have thought that there has not are from here, solon jay and the lobbyists who were approached i love, we are expected to pony up to go to this has to be held in georgetown. i'm not going to go to text in. i really says it all compared to what it was 20 years ago. >> to your question quite >> the question is coming up. do you think it's possible supposed to santa barbara on in the approach of persons in power that would retain some of the
11:49 pm
influence that having kate graham's time quite >> that's a hard question for me to answer. i think it's such a different time. a thing to me the more interesting piece of that question is what happened in the wake of solon jay, which is a direct parallel to janet cooke in a lot of ways. when someone did happen, there was no field investigation. and then ben bradlee's day, they would've been this happened, my god, how did this happen? update to the the bottom of it. that didn't happen and i think that the definition of sort of a culture shift. i think the post is trying to figure out how to make it into this new world and i don't know that i have a prescription for how they should succeed, but i do think the response to the particular thing you mentioned is different from how in my mind the paper would've responded. >> anybody else? that was easy. last night that that particular
11:50 pm
question of course, but anywhere the rest of them? i'm going to sign some books. i'll be here for a while a hope. [inaudible] >> share, would you like to know? >> when did you see it coming -- [inaudible] >> i've been asked that question sorry, he asked to what extent did i see the controversy coming and what do we think of the reaction i did i see this precise controversy coming unassertive scope and dimensions? no. i mean, as i reported in the book, it was clear that lott didn't want me to report some of what i reported. but i had given him that stuff 14 minutes ago i got a b. it wouldn't play at the way this
11:51 pm
a very new situation for me in "politico" e-mailing amount of stuff. so for me personally respect to its strange. i'm not going to say i'm completely surprised. i guess the size of it was not something i expected. [inaudible] >> i really can't, to be honest with you. i woke up monday morning and there's a story in the pose, sort of challenging the animator on the day as compared to nixon, which was interesting. i think maybe a little over the top to be honest. i imagine bob wishes he had that one that. but i stick by my reporting and even in the exchanges have been on that day, nobody has challenged a single fact in my reporting and a standby of an
11:52 pm
hundred%. and if anything, this controversy, if you want to call it that, it has only made me feel better about what i reported in a book to be quite frank. [applause] >> sure, would you mind step into the night just so they can hear you. >> i was a bit surprised to bradley saw the style section of the newspaper is very important. and i was thinking perhaps that that -- but it's like taking a poll for people in the city. >> that's exactly how described it, exactly how he described what he said at a. >> and also, it's like a nirvana away from politics. and i want to hear your opinion about that. it's been absolutely.
11:53 pm
i think it's a really good question. there was a lot of different presents. what a shock into a modern reader. and the washington post company never knew what the tv schedule would be in the theater review was. it floated three different sections that look at the key box on the front of the paper to figure out where the review was. so one of the key function is to consolidate all that stuff, so that was practical. and then at the section called for and about women. animist lowercase. espinosa has come the stories about china's wise. and so, i don't think anyone would say it then it's an enormous crusader for feminism or anything like that, but in his rational for crude in the section for more than 60 things he thought was there with cover women as women and he wanted a
11:54 pm
section that involved women, talked about women in a very modern way. suppose another point of it. the third thing you mentioned is really. the proposal for the section, the guy who submitted it, david leventhal, and managing assistant editor at the time said we want a place that's about people, the way people live. there's nothing like that in the news paper. so when they put the style section together, the first cover with a woman named bj south, about an fbi suspect is wanted for kidnapping who is a woman. so this is a revolutionary story at the time, for a woman, by a woman in the general had tea and give remarks and all of that. so i think ben was really looking forward a modern way to express what was happening for the newspaper to have some personality. an antecedent for this is dan's grand uncle was for "vanity fair" and in that day, "vanity
11:55 pm
fair" has scott fitzgerald announces great writers never tried to become a modern, not just a fashion that, but a modern hard-hitting thing expressed modern life in was doing the exact same thing and that's what was so widely taken. >> did you also talked to very fast and quite >> i did not. i requested an interview and then they actually spoke to him two weeks ago. i'm losing track of time because it's been such a whirlwind, but i spoke to him about the granger and he said that's not news. he said i've been saying that for 40 years or whatever it is. we have a very frank discussion. so i requested it before and then it didn't come through, but he basically talked to everybody that they could. yes. hello, bob. >> i didn't see anything about the publication of the manifesto
11:56 pm
manifesto -- [inaudible] >> no, sorry. i don't have anything on it. >> that would've been a status moment moments moments to% interest, gosh. i don't know anything on it. [inaudible] >> a man or a newspaperman was there anything you found surprising quite >> sure, that's a great question. sorry, very well put. don't beat around the bush with it either. so the question was the watergate nuggets are the ones getting the most part, so what do i think is overlooked is most surprising about what i found about bad?
11:57 pm
one of the things most surprising to me and len downie was the most outspoken with that then has this image has this brash, fearless commander who was like lets go get them and i won't imitate his voice. everybody does it. i've resisted this fire. he hated direct confrontation. i'm not going to say that as a general rule, but there were moments where he did not direct confrontation. there's a small or is trying to move another editor out and he really backed channeled it. it was with ben bradlee crusade to the newsroom saying get out of here. it was very behind the scenes, pulling the levers. you don't really speak about that with them so much. the thing most surprising to me although that was somewhat different from the public image, but then there was most surprising to me was how consistent he was. i mean, in a very sad moment for me after my book was already, it were boxes showed up. so you can imagine the panic with which i look through those
11:58 pm
boxes looking for stuff i miss, stuff i should have put in the book. i was in the post-boardroom at the other's leather chairs going through boxes, just out. and what that was the sort of the ecclesia. a bunch of jessica checked this, check back in the worst this, so up in the same. i had that maybe there'd something in here that's going to change everything and it was all exactly the same. and i became a biographer. as a biographer you wonder how does david mccullough figure out who john adams says. he never met the guy. he's got these documents to go on in all of that. i had the privilege, the great, great privilege to meet and spend time with ben, but it made me have sympathy for biographers because who'd been was also clear from the written record. it's great that i met him, but
11:59 pm
other people said everything i could say. it has been. as the weather than some of the personal stuff, how he had a really southside company compassion aside, particularly for drunks. he hated to fire trunks and always wanted to let them down easy and get them a break and you want that kind of stuff. but it's little stuff like that it peaks out at you to make some of the human being. but there were tons of surprises. the watergate stuff is surprising. it was all surprising that he was amazing about it. the last thing is the answer to that question is whenever he brought in some thing that i thought would make him some somewhat uncomfortable, he was always like who cares. what's your next question? which is an amazing attitude for someone writing a book about them. so that was surprising. i probably should have been surprised about it, but it was. anybody else?

182 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on