P: Is t
The Michigan Daily-Friday, July 6, 1979-Page 7
Halberstam's 'Powers' corrupt
cant inuedlrnomPagei 5
ing the president. out in that task? P: I take it, then, that you think portant American media.
residency made owning and H: I don't know. Iguess so. history is something superior to jour- P: And now that you've written, in
g a television set politcally P: Why, then, did you write it the way nalism, that is, the perfection of jour- one book or another, about all of those
ry. you did? nalism or at least the considerable im- things, about the big, powerful and
iderstood immediately when H: It sounded so good that way. provement of it? ironic tragedy of the American involv-
fice the dynamics of television. P: Then there was Adolph Ochs, the H: I suppose. ment in Vietnam and about the rise of
Kennedy may not have been founding publisher of the modern New P: Mr. Halberstam, do you know the big important American media, will
on television like the York Times, whom you mention what history is? you ever find another topic that can
ion of the sixties, but he briefly. You wrote of him, did you not, H: Sure. match those in complexity, size, and
ess understood it from the fir- that "One did not think of Adolph Ochs P: What? importance, a topic that can fascinate
smiling; he was a man whose tie was H : What nobody buys in bookstores. you for years on end, as these have?
Kennedy wrote the book on always tied"? P: And what are all the events that H: Sure. Alfred Knopf has already
n and the presidency. H: I wrote it. ever occurred in history? laid down a big difference for my
hat all you can think of? P: Is there anv meanineful H: The cold war, the Vietnam War, autobiography.
P: Thank you. Incidentally, do these
sentences appear in any of your
H: On pages 316 and 317 of The
Powers That Be.
P: WHAT DID YOU tell your readers
that Philip Graham, the dashing,
enigmatic publisher of the Washington
Post, did as a 25-year-old lawyer in the
Lend-Lease Administration about 1940?
H: I wrote, "His principle respon-
sibility was gearing up America's in-
dustrial capacity for the oncoming
World War II."
P: Big job.
H: Big man.
P: Did you mention in your book that
some other people might have helped
Graham out in that task?
P: Did anyone, in fact, help Graham
correlation of any kind between a man
whom "one" did not think of as smiling
and a man who maintained habits of
H: Not really.
P: Why, then, did you write it the way
H: Hell, it just sounded so good that
P: How long did it take you to write
H: Seven years.
P: And how long did it take your
editors to edit it?
H: To what?
P: To edit it.
H: To what?
P: MR. HALBERSTAM, I'm going to
come to the point. What are you?
H: A journalist.
P: A big journalist?
H: The biggest.
P: I want to call your attention to
Philip Graham again. How did he
characterize the profession of jour-
H: He called it "the first rough draft
P: And what did you write about that
H: "There is no better description of
the profession at its best."
Watergate, and the rise of the big im-