NEWS

Reporters and their mistakes

So reporters are as good as they’ve been? I think reporters are awfully good and I really mean that. I’ve had occasion, with the D-Day thing, to read some papers from 1944. The war reporting was good, but there was sometimes a 24-hour hold before the public got it, and they were all behind enemy lines, and there was nobody reporting from the other side. Now we’ve got as many people reporting the other side as are reporting on our side. You see that on television all day long, and to hear those talk shows. And that must make the world in which the media work very difficult, to be right, to be fast. To be the first to be right. Yes. Is that the way we get mistakes? You get some mistakes. Do you think they’ve been handling them well, for example The New York Times? (Chuckles) Well that doesn’t have anything to do with the war. The last – this last woman who was caught – Judith Miller, she’s a special problem. And I mean problem. Those of us who’ve know her for years have just been waiting for something terrible to happen. She’s quite bright and she’s as brave as can be, but… 50 years ago, [when] Franklin Roosevelt called a press conference at the White House, there were 13 people, 13 reporters and no television. They didn’t quote the president. Just an entirely different culture. Now there are 1,500 reporters accredited to the White House.