Famed investigative journalist Bob Woodward criticized the media’s open bias toward President Trump on Tuesday in remarks following a screening of “All The President’s Men” in Washington, D.C.
Woodward, the reporter who broke the Nixon Watergate scandal the media now loves to compare to the Trump administration, said it’s crucial the press retain the trust of the public, and execute a deep “fair-mindedness” when reporting.
He pointed to a list of Trump’s “lies” compiled by The New York Times in which some of the president’s are misjudged as an example of overt bias, after he was asked about the media’s treatment of Trump in a Q&A session at Landmark E Street Cinema.
“[Number three on the list] was that Trump said he was on the cover of Time magazine 14 or 15 times when it was in fact 11 times,” Woodward said. “… That’s not a lie.” He likened Trump’s statement instead to someone getting pulled over for speeding and telling the police officer that they were driving the speed limit.
“Tone matters, and headlines matter, and you want people to [trust you],” he said.
“[It] really betrays the anti-Trump media bias,” Woodward added, regarding the media’s coverage of the investigation into Russian meddling in the election. “I think a kind of brief, deeply fair-mindedness is essential, but as essential or maybe more essential is a game plan for reporting this and going to Moscow and finding the bookkeeper.”
The bookkeeper was a reference to a key source for Woodward and Carl Bernstein in their Watergate coverage.
Woodward has been a consistent voice for journalism in recent months, calling the Buzzfeed dossier “a garbage document” and saying that the Comey investigation was “not yet Watergate,” contradicting frequent mainstream claims.
His comments come in the wake of a heated debate about whether or not the American people should trust the mainstream media. A Gallup poll released Monday states that Americans’ trust in newspapers is rising at 27 percent, but is still very low compared to confidence in other institutions, such as the military at 72 percent and small business at 70 percent.