David Halberstam

David Halberstam
David Halberstam
  • Born: April 10, 1934
  • Died: April 23, 2007
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Journalist

16

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11

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58

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[Vietnam was] the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. War & Peace
A good war televises well; a bad war televises poorly. Media, Journalism & The Press
Being a reporter is at the very core of a democracy, being a free person in a free society. Media, Journalism & The Press
By the nature of his office, a President is separated from his natural constituency and from the art of his profession, politics. The office restricts his movements, his access to events and reality. Presidency, Vice Presidency & Prime Ministership
Governments come and go, but civilizations linger on. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
Iraq is the wrong war and the wrong time in the wrong place. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Joe McCarthy was the local town drunk in a business suit. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
Memory is often less about truth than about what we want it to be. Human Nature
No one becomes a reporter to make friends, but neither is it pleasant in a situation like the war in Vietnam to find yourself completely at odds with the views of the highest officials of your country. The pessimism of the Saigon press corps was of the most reluctant kind: many of us came to love Vietnam, we saw our friends dying all around us, and we would have liked nothing better than to believe the war was going well and that it would eventually be won. But it was impossible for us to believe those things without denying the evidence of our own senses.... And so we had no alternative but to report the truth.... Media, Journalism & The Press
Other men would … have to pay for that terrible arrogance and vainglory. Leaders & Leadership
The job of the reporters in Vietnam was to report the news, whether or not the news was good for America. To the ambassadors and generals, on the other hand, it was crucial that the news be good, and they regarded any other interpretation as defeatist and irresponsible. War & Peace
If you're a reporter, the easiest thing in the world is to get a story. The hardest thing is to verify. The old sins were about getting something wrong, that was a cardinal sin. The new sin is to be boring.
Memory is often less about the truth than about what we want it to be. Truth
Nixon, who spent much of his career attacking the press and saying he was a victim of the press, was in fact created by the press, in this case the L.A. Times.
No publisher in America improved a paper so quickly on so grand a scale, took a paper that was marginal in qualities and brought it to excellence as Otis Chandler did.
With the marketing pressures driving the book world today, it's much easier to get the author of a memoir on a television show than a serious novelist.

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