Hollywood on the Potomac
“Dogfight” is not about the NSA vs. Edward Joseph Snowden, though it could be if you subscribe to the ‘one thing leads to another’ philosophy of life. Silicon Valley provided Snowden with the tech tools needed to operate and expose mountains of classified documents in the first place. Because it’s headline news we asked author Fred Vogelstein what he thought of the situation.
“I don’t think he was a traitor,” he said. “I think if you go back and we look at the whole Daniel Ellsberg Pentagon papers thing … we look at that whole incident with the benefit of hindsight. Granted I was still a kid then, but if my memory serves, there were a lot of people calling Daniel Ellsberg a traitor too …that went on for a for a very, very, very, long time and that there was a pretty good sized debate over it.”
CNN’s Chief Washington Correspondent and host of “The Lead” Jake Tapper is everywhere these days – last night on a panel for Anchorman2 at The Newseum, this morning getting his caffeine fix also at The Newseum for a panel discussion spearheaded by Politico’s Mike Allen for a special media roundtable about policy, politics and the news of the day.
Tapper was joined by Peter Baker, White House Correspondent, The New York Times and author, “Days of Fire” – Mark Leibovich, Chief National Correspondent, The New York Times Magazine and author, “This Town” – Kelly O’Donnell, Capitol Hill Correspondent, NBC News.
A big issue of the roundtable was once again as to whether the media is biased. Seems that the bias gravitates to the left. “Most of my colleagues, I have no idea what their politics are, but think about it. I live in northwest Washington, none of my neighbors are evangelical Christians, I don’t know a lot of people in my kid’s preschool who are pro-life,” Leibovich said.
Tapper finds it a bit more complex than left vs. conservative.
“I joined Facebook in June out of this lame and cynical attempt to promote this book which has fallen very flat. I tried to put up excerpts and said: ‘Here’s where I think Jimmy Hoffa’s body is. I got three comments and five likes. Jim Grady says on Facebook: ‘I woke up this morning and I had bacon and eggs for breakfast.’ He gets 350 comments and 8000 likes.”
Grady, author of Six Days of the Condor – think Robert Redford and Faye Dunaway flick Three Days of the Condor – and his wife Bonnie Goldstein – one of the best investigative journalists in the business – hosted a book party in Dan’s honor for his latest publication: “Confessions of a Guerrilla Writer: Adventures in the Jungles of Crime, Politics, and Journalism.”
“I want to thank all of you for coming today. We’re here to honor someone who fights for true justice in the American way, has a relatively good time while doing it and never, ever, angers anybody and has always been a darling in the mainstream media and the mafia,” said Grady sarcastically.
“The list of fans for Dan is endless. There are a large number of ‘families,’ about 29 scattered from the Northeast to the shores of Los Angeles. There are certain inmates in jail in Las Vegas now who love him. A number of people in organizations as pure as the National Football League are huge fans of Dan, as are a large number of corporations like MCA. We’re not going to go there. We’re going to just say the New York Times has seen the error of its ways and now is beginning to recognize Dan for the man he is. He’s far more humble than he should be. We are all here because we love him, we admire him and we respect him.”