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August 6th, 2013
10:51 PM ET

Carl Bernstein on the sale of the "Washington Post": "We need an economic model, we need somebody who has the deep pockets to sustain great reporting"

On the backdrop of this week's revelation that Jeff Bezos has purchased the "Washington Post" for 250 million dollars, on Tuesday evening "Piers Morgan Live" invited Carl Bernstein to offer his unique blend of perspective and insight.

A former "Washington Post" reporter who is best-known for teaming with colleague Bob Woodward to cover then-President Richard Nixon and the infamous Watergate scandal, Bernstein is hopeful that being bought by Bezos will spell new life for his old employer:

"The paper is not economically healthy, and like most newspapers, and like most news organizations, and I think this could be a great thing for a great institution," he told Piers Morgan. "Our failings are an economic model that doesn't work anymore, and hopefully, by having a genius from the internet age, from internet technology, who will help find a model, that will preserve the most enduring aspects of great journalism, and marry it with this new culture. That's the hope."

Portrayed by Dustin Hoffman in "All the President's Men," a film based on the book of the same title co-written with Woodward, Bernstein spoke honestly about what he sees as a reduction, and depletion, of quality journalism:

"We need an economic model, we need somebody who has the deep pockets to sustain great reporting. That's what's been lacking. There are tons of stories out there that we're not doing. We don't have a good enough news report. Not in the 'Washington Post,' not even in 'The New York Times,'" said the man whose writing ultimately led to the resignation of Nixon in 1974. "That is part of what we need in the newspaper business, or the former newspaper business: marry the new technology with the great things we're capable of. We need an entrepreneurship of reporting."

Watch the clip for more of Piers Morgan's interview with Bernstein, and for the full edition of "Piers Morgan Live" tune in every night at 9pm.
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Filed under: The Big Story
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. C. Gall

    Surprised that democracy in the media has taken yet another twisted turn with Carl Bernstein incorrectly referencing in interview, without your correction, Piers (although I know you know the truth), Daniel Ellsberg's eloquent Oped in the Washington Post - in which he clearly states, "Many people compare Edward Snowden to me unfavorably for leaving the country and seeking asylum, rather than facing trial as I did. I don’t agree. The country I stayed in was a different America, a long time ago." Why didn't you call him on that, Piers?

    August 7, 2013 at 1:10 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. H. Pate

    "We need an economic model, we need somebody who has the deep pockets to sustain great reporting"

    What Carl is saying can me summed up as: He wants a white knight to pay his salary so that he can keep printing stuff that half the country refuses to read.

    Taken to another industry – say General Motors – GM should be allowed to produce Volts whether people buy it or not.

    August 7, 2013 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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