JUAN GONZÁLEZ: “Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News.” Those were the words of President Trump last week. It was just his latest attack on the nation’s press. A week earlier, federal prosecutors revealed they had secretly captured years’ worth of phone and email data from a reporter, Ali Watkins, who broke several high-profile stories related to the Senate Intelligence Committee. A former top aide on the committee, James Wolfe, has been charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with the press.
Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders recently dropped the United States to number 45 in its annual ranking of press freedom. When the group first published its list in 2002, the United States was at number 17.
Well, to talk about the state of the media and how—we spend the hour with the nation’s best-known investigative journalist, Seymour Hersh. In 1970, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on how the U.S. slaughtered more than 500 Vietnamese women, children and old men in the village of My Lai on March 16, 1968. The event became known as the My Lai massacre.
AMY GOODMAN: Sy Hersh went on to expose many of the government’s deepest secrets, from Nixon’s bombing of Cambodia to the CIA spying on antiwar activists, to the CIA’s role undermining the Chilean government of Salvador Allende. Former CIA Director William Colby once privately complained about Hersh, saying, quote, “He knows more about this place than I do.”
Well, Sy Hersh has also helped uncover how the U.S. has secretly carried out assassinations across the globe. Hersh continued to break major stories after the September 11th attacks, most notably, in 2004, he exposed the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq that shocked the world.
Well, Seymour Hersh is out with a new book, looking back on his more than half a century of scoops and digging up secrets. It’s called Reporter: A Memoir.
Welcome to Democracy Now! It’s great to have you for the hour, Sy.