Thursday, November 17, 2005

Gilliard Says and it is true 


Henri Petain

Sometimes, heroism mutates into something else.

It is clear that Petain saved France in the spring of 1917. By stemming the mutinies of the war weary French Army, he saved France. But Petain was a pessimist. He always believed the worst. And when Germany invaded France in 1940, Petain was chosen to once again save France.

But his instincts were wrong, and he would allow the Nazis free reign and watch as a fascist movement was created in his name.

Ultimately, he failed France.

In this way. Bob Woodward has failed both the Washington Post and journalism.

Woodward was a hero for a long time, someone who represented the best of American journalism.

Now to have him revealed as corrupt as Judy Miller. maybe even more so, is just the latest example of the cancer which is Beltway journalism.

Once, access with sources was about getting information. But from the time of Joe Alsop, Washington reporting was about social entry. The parties of Sally Quinn, the school recommendations, hopping back and forth between government and journalism. This all bred an incestuous culture which ill served the American public.

Judy Miller, in many ways, was an easy target. Her sex life, her lack of manners made her many enemies. Woodward, otoh. was liked and respected. He was a hero to a generation of reporters, while Carl Bernstein faded away.

Now, it turns out, Woodward may have lied about a criminal investigation, misled people purposely, and hid this from his bosses.

At least we knew where Miller stood.

No one saw this kind of betrayal coming from Woodward, not even his editors.

But it's about a culture, one where duty to a source is more important than duty to the paper or the reader. They have taken sides, and it's against us.

Washington journalism is corrupt beyond redemption. Journalists are supposed to serve the public, not be part of the team. It will take a new generation of reporters to change this . Business as usual journalism has failed this country when we needed real journalism most.

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