Real reporters challenge power, not indulge it.
Watergate man Bob Woodward lost long ago that belief, becoming far too keen to amplify the views of those in power.
Here’s his lessons on American TV for how to get the powerful to give answers that he can just publish verbatim:
WOODWARD: I think the survival of the so-called mainstream media has to do with quality. And if you assemble a bunch of questions and go to a candidate and say, “Look, I’m serious. I really want to ask about this,” and you take them as seriously as they take themselves–and believe me, they all take themselves seriously.
WOODWARD: And you’ve done your homework, they–and you’re fair minded and neutral, they are going to engage. When I’ve done these books on Bush and Obama, I send in–I hate to disclose trade craft here–20-page memos saying this is what I want to ask about.
WOODWARD: People say, well, you’re telling them–you’re tipping them off. And I say, yes. I want them to do some homework themselves. I want them to be fully engaged. And I think you can do that with lots of work. And–but if it’s just we like to come in and chat about the news of the day, we’ll get stiffed.
MATTHEWS: Yeah, they don’t need–it’s too wild, it’s too crazy.