Feb. 9, 2014  

Woodward Visits South Florida, Talks Politics, Career and Today’s Journalism

Bob Woodward, one-half of the legendary Woodstein duo that took down the Nixon administration in their coverage of Watergate, spoke at the Broward Center in the ongoing Fort Lauderdale Speaker Series Jan. 22. Much of his talk focused on his last book on the current administration and Congress entitled “The Price of Politics.” It is his seventeenth.

“I like Woodward’s devotion to journalism, truth and the necessary gum-shoe of this work,” said Dina Weinstein, an SPJ Florida board member, who attended the chat with secretary, Christiana Lilly.

A tip from the pro? The best time to unexpectedly visit a source is Tuesday at 8:17 p.m., as he did with a high ranking military man – it’s not a Monday, it’s after dinner, but before they’re winding down for bed. Also, the best way to get a quote from someone is to be honest and tell them, “I need your help.”

On politics, Woodward was candid about his thoughts on the NSA scandal, Edward Snowden, and President Barack Obama’s performance. The journalist said the president doesn’t spend enough time sitting and talking with the people he works with to create a rapport, especially with the Republicans. Also, he doesn’t seem to understand how much power he has.

In regards to Snowden’s leaking of information, Woodward said that no matter what part of the country he is in, people are split on their thoughts of balancing privacy and security. While Obama has promised to be the most transparent administration in history, Woodward urged reporters today to continue their quest to find the truth.

“What are those bastards hiding today?” is the question he asks himself daily, adding that “Democracy dies in darkness.”

The next speaker in the Fort Lauderdale Speaker Series is Jeannette Walls, a journalist and the author of “The Glass Castle. Woodward will be returning to South Florida, this time with Carl Bernstein, for a talk and booksigning at Florida Atlantic University on Feb. 19.

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