Last night on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the man who started the ball rolling on impeaching the last cartoonish, dastardly president, Bob Woodward, was Stephen Colbert’s one-and-only guest.
Woodward, of “and Bernstein” fame, is an investigative journalist who has been active since the early 1970s, when he and his writing partner at the time Carl Bernstein broke the Nixon/Watergate story. Since, both have been pinnacles of journalistic integrity and quality.
Having covered all presidencies since Nixon, it was only a matter of time for Woodward to dive into Trump – and given the similarities between Trump and Nixon, it’s something people have been anticipating. Fear: Trump in the White House is Woodward’s upcoming book about the Trump administration. But, again, given his track record with presidencies… why did anyone from the administration even talk to this guy?
Yes, Woodward proves himself to be the Nardwuar the Human Serviette of political journalism (though, due respect it’s probably the other way around). And also yes, Woodward proves himself to be a phenomenal interviewer – it takes both skill, knowhow and patient persistence to get someone to talk about something they don’t want to talk about.
But despite that, despite hearing all stories from within the current White House and many past White Houses, and despite all he uncovered on President Nixon, Woodward is still shocked by the goings-on in the Trump White House.
He’s heard some intense things – most of which seems to have ended up in his new book Fear, which Colbert read all the way through – an accolade in itself, because for all the authors he has on The Late Show, he doesn’t often read their books, much less the entire book. It’s sort of a running gag when he coyly admits to it. But Fear was one that he couldn’t put down, and while he loved it, he did have a minor structural suggestion…
Bad form, Colbert – you don’t give Michael Jordan pointers on dunking; you don’t suggest that Slash try a different approach to that solo; you don’t tell Bob Woodward where to put the lede.
So the take away? Woodward is one of those classic journalists. A real stand up journalist (opposed to Stephen Colbert, who is more of a stand-up journalist…). He’s got the scruples and ethics from the glory days of print journalism, and the skills to back them up – there’s a reason he’s a go-to name when it comes to investigative reporting. He’s there for the people, not his own edification or achievements – and he thinks all journalists should be too.