The stakes

WARNING: No “expletives deleted.” This is not “a family newspaper.”

Setting the scene: Late at night. Three men are standing on the front lawn of a beautiful Washington, D.C., mansion. One is the executive editor of The Washington Post; the other two, a couple of rookie reporters named Woodward and Bernstein. The editor, Ben Bradlee, has been called outside, where the reporters tell him the Watergate coverup involves the entire intelligence community of the United States and that his house probably has been bugged.

Ben Bradlee (played by Jason Robards in “All the President’s Men”): You know the results of the latest Gallup Poll? Half the country never even heard of the word Watergate. Nobody gives a shit. You guys are probably pretty tired, right? Well, you should be. Go on home, get a nice hot bath. Rest up ... 15 minutes. Then, get your asses back in gear. We're under a lot of pressure, you know, and you put us there. Nothing's riding on this except the First Amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the press and maybe the future of the country. Not that any of that matters, but if you guys fuck up again, I'm going to get mad. Goodnight.

(Fade to black)


Nothing’s riding on this, except …

U.S. respect in the world.

At war in two countries.

Worldwide recession looming.

9 million Americans unemployed.

The Supreme Court and the reversal of all that’s been accomplished for decades.

Civil liberties snatched away.

40 million Americans without health insurance.

Still no viable alternative energy.

Global warming not a joke.

Bin Laden still not brought to justice.

U.S. ranks 12th in education in the world.

Nation’s infrastructure crumbing.

2007 UNICEF study ranks U.S. next to last of 21 industrialized nations in “the well-being of children” (LINK).


Once more, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

"And, if you guys fuck up again, I’m going to get mad."


Frodo, Inside Mount Doom said...

Tome Friedman ended his column published in today's Atlanta-Journal Constitution with the following:
"Vote for the candidate you think has the smarts, temperament and inspirational capacity to unify the country and steer our ship through what could be the rockiest shoals our generation has ever known. Your kids will thank you."

If you do that, all you Citizens of Middle Earth, Frodo will destroy the Ring.

Eowyn said...

Scarey how close we are to the election. We've all wanted to get there and move on . . .Now we realize it had better be the calm Obama who wins lest we be plunged into despair of major proportions. Funny, no matter how bad things are, there is nothing like the bouyant hope of making things better over time. The thought of McCain/Palin is like a glimpse of Hell for me. Good luck to us all.

B.J. said...

Nate: I didn’t exactly support your site as I posted about your “Obama potentate flag” brouhaha. I cannot view the ad as I’m on dial-up connection. I must say your use of sarcasm seems more like reverse psychology to me. The responses I got from some of your regular commenters after I left a comment led me to believe things are not what they may seem. Don’t know if this is an anti-Obama ad you want to expose or merely want to air. Reader: don’t let this be a red herring from your thoughts about this post. BJ

B.J. said...

Oops! Nate removed his comment. Carry on. :-) BJ

Eowyn said...

I hate to respond twice, but I have to thank you for reminding me of All The President's Men as I will get it again to watch. I loved it. But what I loved more was the feeling of watching that whole thing unfold as a young person. I was sold on this country. Gone were the derisive comments, gone the apathy, because justice in it's absolute element could be done. I was shocked and excited and happy. The US of A took on a whole new meaning for me. How did we let that slip away with our everyday?

B.J. said...


That kind of investigative journalism and that kind of outcome is rare today. If it existed today, we would have never invaded Iraq. George and Dick would be in front-porch rocking chairs. The 2000 election debacle would never have happened. You know I heard a guest on Howie Kurtz’s “Reliable Sources” (CNN) this morning say that journalists are relying solely on reporting polls instead of actually … wait a minute … I’ll get the quote.

John Fund, Wall Street Journal columnist: … I think the real media downfall here has been this substitute of polls for thought and real coverage. We had 740 polls this year. Four years ago we only had 239. The polls have literally become the entire campaign coverage for many (news) organizations. It is a shame because it's a substitute for thought and coverage.

There are a few good investigative reporters, but they are a vanishing breed. A number of them were silenced in the run-up to the war.

I’m going to pull my video and watch Bradlee’s “boys” in action again!


Eowyn said...

It would be nice to see one of those seeds sprout again after the present administration is out of control. Justice, like they pursue the Nazis to the grave. It would lift the spirits of the country which has been told, oh, you just take this, there's nothing you can do.

B.J. said...

Well, people have moved on, so this is probably a conversation between you and me, Eowyn. Only 78 more days in the Bush presidency, and he cannot get away without one more damn scandal! Someone in the “intelligence community” has illegally leaked confidential immigration files on one of Obama’s relatives in order to AFFECT the election. Will this bunch of crooks ever be brought to justice. Probably not. But, I agree, pursue them to the grave! BJ P.S. Bush’s grand finale will be to pardon that crook “Scooter” Libby, who, thanks to Bush, did not serve his prison sentence!