White House Correspondents’ Dinner: Bob Woodward Tells Trump, ‘The Media Is Not Fake News’

Journalist Bob Woodward sits at the
AP

Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein spoke to the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, recalling their most famous story to the press corps gathered as the media is under attack from President Trump and others in the administration.

“The effort today to get this best obtainable version of the truth is largely made in good faith,” Woodward said. “Mr. President, the media is not fake news. Let’s take that off the table going forward.”

Woodward did cite polling showing public distrust of the media, something that Trump himself has cited in his speeches criticizing journalists.

“This is no time for self satisfaction of smugness,” he said, while also noting that late Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee once said that the more aggressive the reporting is, the more offended the public may be.

Bernstein quoted a line from the movie version of “All the President’s Men,” based on their book about their Watergate investigation.

“When lying is combined with secrecy, there is usually a pretty good road map in front of us. Yes, follow the money, but follow the lies,” Bernstein said.

They each talked about their approach to the unfolding story of Watergate, and how persistent shoe-leather reporting and a stream of incremental stories trying to shed light on the truth was essential.

The theme of the dinner — celebrating the First Amendment — was a response to Trump’s attacks on the media, the latest earlier in the evening at a speech in Harrisburg, Pa. That message has always been part of the dinner, but it was accentuated this year.

A video featured past presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Barack Obama praising the independence of the media and the White House press corps. Historian Michael Beschloss talks about how Richard Nixon hated the dinner — but he came anyway.

The president of the WHCA this year, Jeff Mason of Reuters, drew a standing ovation when he responded to Trump’s attacks on the media. “We are not fake news. We are not failing news organizations. And we are not the enemy of the American people.”

Although he said that press access with Trump has actually been pretty good, he said that efforts to delegitimize journalists are “dangerous to the republic.” He said that “we must remain vigilant. The world is watching.”

Although Trump did not appear, Alec Baldwin as Trump did. In a short clip that played during the dinner, Baldwin looked at the camera and said, “Keep up the good work.”

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  1. Robert Owen says:

    This disingenuous justification of the media comes from one of its’ most biased voices! I’m sure that the “correspondents” were disappointed that Trump bowed out, denying them the opportunity to display their contempt for an elected, sitting president with the cover that their biased reporting is somehow NOT “fake news”. We are blessed today with the most talentless and un-American press corps in my lifetime. Sending our a big phony to deny that is a “no cigar” moment.

  2. The Oligarchy that began in Venice 900 years ago, has the whole world enslaved to dishonest banking and currency debasement called fractional reserve banking. Government and the main stream media stand by while the whole world is enslaved by Rothschild fascists. An accounting is coming Woodward where Jesus Christ will send you to HELL for hiding the Truth of human enslavement. Woodward, your life has been a crime against humanity.

  3. heyitsron says:

    The Fake News thing will not go away as long as you have a President who’s done so many 360s, so many about faces, once getting elected. If you don’t know what you’re doing you don’t go full speed ahead like a bull in a china shop. You don’t defund Planned Parenthood, you don’t bomb Syria, you don’t appoint a man who hates fresh air and clean water as head of EPA. You don’t appoint a rabid warmonger head of the Defense Department. The American People don’t want another 9-11. And you don’t appoint a woman (Yoest) who’s head of Americans United for Life (AUL), who favors requiring invasive forced ultrasounds, shutting down abortion clinics, defunding Planned Parenthood, to the Department of Health and Human Services. Which is why Donald Trump is only 4 months in and has already earned the title “Worst President Ever.” And why ebay is rife with multiple sellers offering Impeach Trump bumper stickers. And speaks of America’s National Parks, parks for the American people, as a huge Federal land grab? Is this man nuts?

    • Kaboom! says:

      here is the answer to your question “why ebay is rife with multiple sellers offering Impeach Trump bumper stickers”………. us conservatives found another way to empty the wallets of dumb liberals like you. your money spent on the bumper sticker goes to the second term campaign of Trump, while the message is of something that will never happen. luckily their are many liberal fools like you.

  4. I prefer Alex Baldwin as Trump…at least he makes me laugh…Trump terrifies me. I pray daily

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