Legendary investigative reporter on why the media can’t stay out of Trump’s “kitty-litter box of tweets”.
[Editor’s Note: Hersh’s thoughts about impeachment and the Russia crisis are a bit contrarian. He also has some tough criticism of the state of journalism. — Mark L. Taylor]
By Chauncey DeVega
Seymour Hersh is one of America’s greatest investigative reporters. Over his career of more than 50 years, he has covered many of the most important stories of that period. He helped expose the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, in which hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians were killed by American soldiers. Writing for the New York Times, he helped to bring more public attention to the Watergate cover-up. Hersh was also among the first reporters to offer a proper account of Richard Nixon’s and America’s “secret” war in Cambodia.
Hersh has also shone a light on America’s “War on Terror” and its related programs of extraordinary rendition, “black site” torture prisons and other human rights violations. He one of the first public voices to warn that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney’s war with Iraq was based on false pretenses and outright lies.
Hersh has written for the New York Times, the New Yorker, the Associated Press and numerous other press organizations and publications. In addition to his other prestigious awards, Hersh earned the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for international reporting. He is also the author of many books, including “The Dark Side of Camelot,” “The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House“ and “Chain of Command: The Road from 9/11 to Abu Ghraib.” In Hersh’s new book, “Reporter: A Memoir,” he discusses many of those stories and some of the lessons drawn from his long career.
Speaking truth to power
In total, Hersh is a man who has never been afraid to speak truth to power, even when those truths are uncomfortable or unpopular.
In this wide-ranging conversation, Hersh reflects on the current health of the American news media, why today’s newsrooms are so easily distracted by Donald Trump’s use of social media, and why too many reporters and journalists are afraid of telling the truth and instead have become slaves to weak standards of “balance.”
Hersh also shares his thoughts on Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump-Russia scandal, whether Joe Biden will be the Democratic nominee, how Trump may win again in 2020, and how the Democratic National Committee’s attacks on Bernie Sanders in 2016 may be the party’s undoing in the 2020 presidential race.
This transcript has been edited for length and clarity. You can also listen to my full conversation with Seymour Hersh through the player embedded below.
Note: The link to the Truth Report podcast of this interview in the story is wrong.
Here is the correct link to the 18-minute audio.