Democracy Now! (6/20/18)
“Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News,” President Trump tweeted last week, in his latest attack on the nation’s press. A week earlier, federal prosecutors revealed they had secretly captured years’ worth of phone and email data from journalist Ali Watkins, who broke several high-profile stories related to the Senate Intelligence Committee. A former top aide on the committee, James Wolfe, has been charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with the press.
Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders recently dropped the United States to number 45 in its annual ranking of press freedom. When the group first published its list in 2002, the United States came in at number 17.
We speak with the nation’s best-known investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh. He has a new book out looking back on his more than half-century of scoops and digging up secrets. It’s titled “Reporter: A Memoir.”
- Remembering The My Lai Massacre: Seymour Hersh On Uncovering The Horrors Of Mass Murder In Vietnam — In 1970, Seymour Hersh won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on how the U.S. slaughtered more than 500 Vietnamese women, children and old men in the village of My Lai on March 16, 1968. The event became known as the My Lai massacre. We speak with Seymour Hersh in New York City. Link to Story, Transcript and Video
- Investigative Reporter Sy Hersh: Working with Gene McCarthy’s Presidential Bid Shaped My Life Path — Before investigative reporter Sy Hersh exposed many of the government’s deepest secrets, from Nixon’s bombing of Cambodia to the CIA’s role undermining the Chilean government of Salvador Allende, he served as press secretary for Democrat Eugene McCarthy during his 1968 presidential bid. We speak with Hersh in New York City about this little-discussed time in his life. Link to Story, Transcript and Video
- Sy Hersh: I Knew Richard Nixon Beat His Wife in 1974, But Did Not Report the Story — Soon after President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974, Seymour Hersh got a call from a source at a California hospital. He learned that Nixon had beaten his wife so severely in 1974 that she sought treatment at an emergency room. Hersh did not report the story. Years later, he received criticism for this choice. We speak with Sy Hersh in New York City. He says of his decision not to report on Nixon beating his wife, “I was obtuse to the notion that it was a crime. … I didn’t get it.” Link to Story, Transcript and Video
- Sy Hersh: Henry Kissinger Must “Count Burned and Maimed Cambodian & Vietnamese Babies” in His Sleep — While Sy Hersh was working at The New York Times Washington bureau, he would watch reporters call then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger nearly every day, diligently writing down his comments and then reproducing them as front-page news. This is one of many stories Hersh tells in his new memoir, “Reporter.” We speak with award-winning investigative journalist Sy Hersh about his many years reporting on Kissinger. He says, “What I always said about Kissinger, publicly, and again and again, is that when people … can’t sleep and they count sheep, I think Kissinger has to count burned and maimed Cambodian and Vietnamese babies the rest of his life. But, of course, he doesn’t.” Link to Story, Transcript and Video
- Seymour Hersh on Torture at Abu Ghraib & Secret U.S. Assassination Programs — In 2004, investigative reporter Sy Hersh exposed the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq that shocked the world. Shocking photos of U.S. military personnel humiliating and torturing Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib sparked global outcry, as well as national hearings, investigations and finger pointing. We speak with Sy Hersh about his investigation, nearly 15 years later. Link to Story, Transcript and Video