September 14, 2018
Washington Post Associate Editor Bob Woodward, author of 12 New York Times number-one best-sellers on American life and politics, gave the Association an inside look at his most recent book and surefire thirteenth best-seller, Fear, in a special interview with HR Policy CEO Dan Yager.
Student presidents: Woodward drew from his experience covering nine U.S. presidents—20 percent of all presidents—to explore the unique characteristics of the Trump presidency. Particularly notable, according to Woodward, is the typical interest of presidents in learning. Woodward said:
“Even Nixon learned in the end, the day he resigned. He remarkably said in one of the great moments in presidential history… ‘This is why I called you. Always remember. Others may hate you. But those that hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.’ He realized at that moment at the end that it was the hate. He hated. At that moment he learned hate destroys you, not the people you hate. I could go through the presidents I covered. They all learned something.”
On the state of journalism: “Off the record” conversations chip away at journalistic credibility, Woodward noted, by making certain information privileged and thereby funneling journalists toward telling the stories their sources want. “More people distrust than trust our product,” he observed, “which means we are going to have to go down a very difficult road of self-examination.”
The book is selling faster than any since Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman and is a lock to be Woodward's thirteenth number-one best-seller on the New York Times Best Seller list. Woodward made his name as a junior reporter on the metro beat with his famous reporting on the Watergate scandal, which began with a third-rate burglary in a local hotel.