Ben Bradlee quotes

Goddammit, when is somebody going to go on the record in this story?!...You guys are about to write a story that says the former Attorney General, the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in this country, is a crook! Just be sure you're right...Leave plenty of room for his denial.

Once when I was reporting, Lyndon Johnson's top guy gave me the word they were looking for a successor to J. Edgar Hoover. I wrote it and the day it appeared Johnson called a press conference and appointed Hoover head of the FBI for life... And when he was done, he turned to his top guy and the President said, "Call Ben Bradlee and tell him **** you." I took a lot of static for that--everyone said, "You did it, Bradlee, you screwed up--you stuck us with Hoover forever." I screwed up but I wasn't wrong. You guys haven't been wrong yet, is that why you're scared shitless? You should be.

It's like they taught us at Harvard: few things are as gratifying to the soul as having another man's nuts in a vise.

Either of you want a drink or should I order? Because--because our ****s are on the chopping block and you've got to be sure that you're not just dealing with people who hate Richard Nixon and want to get him through us. You see, I don't give a shit who's President--I really don't, it's an adversary situation between them and us and it's always gonna be. I never had a closer friend than Jack Kennedy and once I printed something that pissed him off and for seven months I didn't exist.

All right, you made a mistake maybe, we all have, just don't make another. And watch your personal lives, who you hang around with. Someone once said the price of democracy is a bloodletting every ten years. Make sure it isn't our blood.

Now hold it, hold it. We're about to accuse Mr. Haldeman, who only happens to be the second most important man in America, of conducting a criminal conspiracy from inside the White House. It would be nice if we were right.

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, uh, 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 **** up again, I'm gonna lose my temper. I promise you, you don't want me to lose my temper.

  »   More Quotes from
  »   Back to the