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Nov 22, 2005

Woodward's Close Ties


Out of hundreds of possible file photos the NYT could have chosen to accompany an update on Bob Woodward (Post Editor Foresees Possibility of Naming Leak Source - link) why pick this one?  The image, taken in April, shows Woodward helping Ben Bradlee, the former Post executive editor, with his tie.

Besides the touching portrait of a long time relationship, I'm wonder what other associations the photo editors had in mind.

For example, does the picture help explain Woodward's assumption he could downplay his involvement in the Plame affair by virtue of his membership in the old boys club?  And/or, does the picture say something about Washington journalists and the problem of boundaries?  Given the incestuous connections the scandal exposed between the administration and the press, is it that far-fetched to visualize Woodward (essentially, the White House biographer) in the same pose with Colin Powell or even Dick Cheney?

Reflective of the insularity and self-importance of the Washington media elite, I was interested in Bradlee's comment in the article's last paragraph regarding Woodward's secret role in the C.I.A. leak.

"We're so interested in our own selves, especially in these two papers in this city," Mr. Bradlee said in an interview. "Outside the Beltway I feel this story has very minor interest."

I hope Bradlee isn't suggesting that the significance of this story (and others like it) is somehow proportional to the degree of interest it attracts.  If that's the case, why would anybody have persisted in trying to draw attention to the Administration's pre-war sales job years before the public started taking notice?

(image: Christy Bowe/Polaris. November 18, 2005.  The New York Times.  p. A20.)


At first glance, not recognizing either man, I thought Woodward was - with that grimace on his face - choking Bradlee, who looks like he's sucking air. When I realized that wasn't happening, my first thought was, "Why would they use a picture that looked like a guy choking another guy?"

But of course, it may also symbolize the wider struggle - corporate media, journalism, politics, old white guys in suits...

Grand Jury testimony of Bob Woodward, longtime Washington Post editor, leaked by Rove-ing reporter (humor).

It is posted at: Bob Woodward Tells Grand Jury Who Leaked First
Bobbing and weaving, a tangled web we do. Book him, Danno.
Please keep my identity a secret. Double super Secret.
Middle-aged, Middle-of-the-road, Mid-Westerner

We can only hope that Fitz doesn't fizzle.
I think Mr. Fitzgerald's motto should be: "If you do a white collar crime then you will serve blue collar time." Look where he lodged Judith Miller. A few months in a blue collar jail and she was ready to sing. Unfortunately, she says she forgot the words

The Times & Post They Should Be A-Changin

Bloggers Request:

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won't come again
And don't speak too soon
For the wheel's still in spin
And there's no tellin' who
That it's namin'.
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the Times & Post should be a-changin'.

Good Bye Sulzberger, Keller, Miller, and Woodward!

Fitzgerald's response:

Come politician's, journalists
Please heed the call
Don't stand in the doorway
Don't block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled

There's a battle outside
And it is ragin'.
It'll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For a new jury and more indictments are a-comin'

Hey Bob:
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled

Man, that is one unflattering picture of Woodward. I wouldn't even have recognized him without his stage makeup and dyed hair. His stage appearance looks twenty or thirty years younger than this pic: the wonders, I guess, of hair dye, contacts, the surgeon's scalpel, a personal trainer, and a makeup artist's wizardry.

My guess is that they unearthed this pic to try to add some gravitas to a seriously, seriously stained celebrity opinionator.

That certainly is an unflattering picture. It doesn't help that it's in black and white and that it's in profile.

What are their actual positions anyway? Is Bradlee still the managing editor and Woodward the assistant managing editor? This photo could show Woodward being an assistant, but to me, it looks more like the younger Woodward (not that he looks young) is in charge of the older Bradlee.

If we were to look at this photograph not knowing who these men are, what would we think is going on? This photo is similar to the many pictures in the news of older, long-time gay couples who decided to go to San Francisco or Massachusetts to get married. And on the wall behind Bradlee, there's a picture of a woman in a wedding dress. Here Woodward's job is helping Bradlee with his bow tie, an image we usually associate with wives getting their husbands ready for a night on the town. It is, as Bag writes, a "touching portrait of a long time relationship." But as Bradlee's pompous quote,"Outside the Beltway I feel this story has very minor interest" demonstrates, it's also a relationship that doesn't always work to the public's benefit.

The photo editor of the Times' subliminal message is: once a suck up, always a suck up.

Subtext: "Woodward the synchophant."

Actually, it's probably because the NYT will never pass up an opportunity to take a shot at the Post. Especially nowadays.

W: Tie fixer, boot licker, butt kisser.
B: Accustomed to being serviced.

Moritician straightening the tie on a corpse.
Technician straightening a tie on a wax dummy.

These 2 sold theit souls for access a long time ago.

"The Hands that Bind...

"The Hands that Strangle...."

So that's Bob Woodward? Not exactly the older Robert Redford I was expecting...

Actually, Woodward was portrayed by Dustin Hoffman.

Media has a fickle way of devouring its children, especially when they're caught unprepared.

The camera was kinder to Bob Woodward (on the right, with Carl Bernstein on the left) in 1973, and again in June 2005. Bernstein, Bradlee, and Woodward are pictured here in July 2005.

Taking Momly's cue from Dustin Hoffman, perhaps art eventually imitates life after all.

it makes him look like what he truly is, nothing more than a butler.

I think Dustin Hoffman played Carl Bernstein, and Robert Redford was Bob Woodward.

fotonique, me thinks you take great liberties by pictorially alluding to Bob as a child, although his behavior recently, suggests such a regression. The 'idealism of youth' pic accurately portrayed him and his reporting in 1973. Unfortunately your other two my computer will not deliver. Its Woodward's excessive dining and note taking with the big boys,thats gobbled him up, not the media. As Henry K said "Power is the great aphrodisiac". I can guess "from which particular confidential aphrodisiac sources" he has acquired his present power, his attitude, arrogrance, comments about Fitzgerald and flippant manner, are right out of the playbook of the 'inner circle gang'. Some of his colleagues have called him a stenographer I think they are being polite. If another movie is in the offing I would get a comedian to play him. We were all idealists at one time, sadly my attitude has become cynical toward Bob Woodward one of my former heroes.

I keep wanting to comment about this photo, about the linked article, about the issues, but I am so upset about Woodward's self-important attitude and questionable behavior regarding the Plame leak investigation that I become speechless. I do want to add this, at least: Last Saturday I heard Daniel Schorr speak about it on NPR. He was ex-TREME-ly reluctant to speak against Woodward, but he revealed that he thought Woodward's ethics were compromised by not coming forward sooner and by not telling his boss what he knew. Schorr — the last of Murrow's Boys who is still working — was regretful for having said even that much out loud. He said, "There. I said it." Here is the link to the audio:
And that opinion comes from someone who knows something about protecting sources:
Somehow, at 89, Daniel Schorr is more vibrant and relevant than Bob Woodward.


Truth gets blurry when we have trouble distinguishing fiction from fiction, but this should settle it:

    All the President's Men (1976)

  • Dustin Hoffman .... Carl Bernstein

  • Robert Redford .... Bob Woodward

  • Jason Robards .... Ben Bradlee

Hoffman-Bernstein, Redford-Woodward, Robards-Bradlee are pictured (left to right) in this movie still. Here is a 2004 image of Robert Redford, and possibly a 2005 image (very nice candid portrait, BTW). Ah, that smile...

If you can't see the Getty image of Bernstein, Bradlee, and Woodward in 2005, try this cropped version or another shot from The Washington Post.

BTW, Redford is 69, Woodward is 62.

Whoops. I even knew that; don't know why my fingers lied!

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