Another Bob

September 28, 2010

Once again, and I couldn’t help, another post on Bob Woodward and the state of journalism as it covers national politics and war.
As a nit-wit young reporter, in the original viewing of “All the President’s Men” in 1976, I was much-more captivated by Dustin Hoffman playing Carl Bernstein than Robert Redford as Woodward — chain-smoking, disheveled and jotting notes on napkins, acting freaky sometimes.
I could really relate.

Woodward was too up tight, too-much tie.
And there was something not newsroomie about him — an appearance of something sinister shifting below the fold of natural reporting.

(Illustration found here).

And there was, and still is.
What perked my continued Bob-interest this morning was another piece on Woodward, this from another favorite, Jeff Huber, also an ex-military guy who pulls off the covers covering the military with humor and insight.
Huber’s column appeared at and guts open the “bull feather merchants” covering US military operations and how Woodward’s latest tome is nothing new.
The money bits:

Woodward does give us two bits of vital information that most likely nobody else could have delivered.
First is that both Obama and Petraeus know the wars we’re fighting now can’t be won.
Second, and even more crucial, is Woodward’s account of Petraeus saying:
“You have to recognize also that I don’t think you win this war. I think you keep fighting. … This is the kind of fight we’re in for the rest of our lives and probably our kids’ lives.”
Great Caesar’s Ghost, Bob!
The morning after you heard that little tidbit from King David, this should have been screaming at us in Fire Alarm font from the front page of your once-great newspaper: “Top General Says We’ll Fight for Decades, Still Won’t Win.”
Bob, it’s time to start being a real reporter again.
We need you. Put the books down, roll up your sleeves, and go back to fighting in your weight class.

Maybe, Bob, you need the noise and jingle of an old IBM Selectric to ring your journalism chimes.

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