'Not Watergate, just gossip': Pulitzer winner on Bob Woodward's new anti-Trump bombshell
The paradoxical era of anonymous anti-Trump reporting has turned once-solid journalism into a carnival of unverifiable accusations. True or not, they distract from real issues, says Pulitzer prize winning journalist Chris Hedges.
A new bombshell book about the horrors of Trump's White House is about to hit the shelves. This time it's not penned by a disgruntled former official, but the world-famous Bob Woodward – the investigative journalist who uncovered the 1970s Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. Only this time, instead of doing solid, verifiable journalism, he is peddling damning claims by anonymous sources, says Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer prize winning journalist and author.
"This is very different from Watergate. This is gossip. Much of it is anonymous gossip, so it feeds this neverending reality television show political drama that cable news channels like CNN are making quite a bit of money off of," Mr. Hedges told RT. "It's always something, it's endless burlesque, and this feeds into this kind of narrative."
This doesn't mean accusations against Trump are necessarily false – in fact, Mr. Hedges says he's "a little more likely to side with Woodward on this one," – but it does draw attention from America's real issues, and thus further entrenches Trump's voter base.
"At the same time, 70 percent of the people in this country are in pretty severe economic distress, and their voices are not being heard at all, and I think that that's why Trump's base remains firm, because these people have been rendered invisible by the press... that has just become a giant carnival act," Mr. Hedges says.
The "shady world of anonymous sources" has enabled phenomena like the recent New York Times op-ed by a supposed anonymous White House insider, claiming there's a 'Resistance' hotbed within the heart of the presidency. Chris Hedges, who has worked at the NYT for 15 years himself, says the media's war on the president is like nothing he has seen before.
"Institutions like the New York Times... use language about the president that would've been wholly unacceptable when I was there. Calling him a liar day in and day out – that doesn't mean he didn't lie, but presidents lie all the time, and every administration I covered lied, starting with the Reagan administration. This is really a war on the part of the establishment press, the Washington establishment, to take down Trump."
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