Bradlee sounded a bit nostalgic for the days when the Post and the Times dueled and the institution of journalism lived off scoops and leaks. "They changed the kind reporting we do. They institutionalized what we do today. They made it the norm."
It's been 40 years since the most reviled president of the 20th century resigned from office. What more fitting time than now to raise a glass to the man who did his job and did it so well he brought down a president of the United States?
I always thought, perhaps naively, that the Times was not going after just the wealthy, that they might have a commitment to people at the lower end of the wealth scale. Then I encountered the February 11 edition.
What makes the column still more revealing and sad is that, far from serving up an older but wiser man's humility, it recycles what Brooks has been saying quite often since even when he was younger and, one might have hoped, less cynical.
The attempt to tackle the sexual legacy of John Kennedy was an unmitigated disaster for Sy Hersh, the low point of an otherwise illustrious career. Why would Hersh, the man obsessed with public policy, tackle this sordid tale in the way that he did?
A possible threat to national security is perhaps more understandable, but getting a prior restraint on a book for national security is near impossible; getting a book banned because people cuss or if the content is "ungodly" (look out Harry Potter books!) is a lot easier.
The paper is at an important crossroads. Should The Washington Post's legacy of editorial independence, investigative journalism, outstanding writing and reporting, and service to the public become the victim of "frugality" and "customer obsessions", the paper will precipitously decline.