Veteran investigative journalist Bob Woodward said Friday that too many members of the media are “binge-drinking the anti-Trump Kool-Aid.”
“Stick to the reporting,” he urged the media during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
“One of the realities here is that we’ve got an old newspaper war going between The New York Times and The Washington Post. It’s good. And some very powerful stories,” Woodward said.
“At the same time, I think it’s time to dial back a little bit about because there are people around — certainly not you, certainly not the reporters at The Post — who are kind of binge-drinking the anti-Trump Kool-Aid. And that is not going to work in journalism.”
Woodward, with Carl Bernstein, broke the story of the June 1972 burglary at the offices of the Democratic National Committee in the Watergate office complex, initiating a chain of events that eventually led to President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974.
Woodward said that the number one thing Washington Post editor Ben Bradley requested of his staff during the reporting of the Watergate scandal was, “Don’t gloat.”
“Don’t, you know, get self-satisfaction out of doing the job,” Woodward recalled of his former editor’s admonition. “No gloating.”
Woodward said Bradley would “literally, at times during the Nixon period, would run around the newsroom and say, ‘No.’”
Today’s Washington Post does not adhere to Bradley’s prohibition of newsroom gloating.
The Post’s newsroom reportedly broke out into cheers Monday after The Post broke readership records for its story alleging that Trump had provided “code-word information” to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador during a White House meeting last week.
I’ve been fact-checked: Applause in the newsroom as the Russia-leak scoop breaks the Hollywood Access record for most readers per SECOND
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) May 15, 2017
In April, Woodward said that someone as polarizing as Trump “brings out some of the best in journalism and also some of the worst.”
“I think some people have just gone too far and treat Trump not as a story, but as a threat,” the veteran journalist told NBC’s Jim Marshall at an April 1 event at the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center.
“I think it’s infected people, and I think some objectivity has fallen by the wayside,” Woodward said.
“Can’t we just get the facts?” he asked.
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