Reader LB sent me this note overnight:
I very much admire the work you are doing.
I thought these quotes from Ben Bradlee (who passed away today) would resonate with you.
"It changes your life, the pursuit of truth," Bradlee said. "At least, if you know that you have tried to find the truth and gone past the first apparent truth towards the real truth, it's very, it's very exciting, I find."
"Most of the other journalists in the country [thought] Watergate was a crazy story that would blow up in our face. We had no competition for weeks and months on end during that story. I was one of the line editors during the Watergate coverage, and it was scary."
"You guys are about to write a story that says the former attorney general — the highest-ranking law enforcement official in this country — is a crook," Robards, as Bradlee, warned his young reporters, pausing for effect before delivering this warning: "Just be sure you're right."
Thank God for men like Ben Bradlee. Australia did not have such a leader at the helm of either Fairfax, News Limited or the ABC in September 2011. Our then PM Julia Gillard applied improper pressure to shut down my enquiries about her central role in The AWU Scandal, a $1M (1996) fraud involving the labour union that installed and kept her as Prime Minister.
Great democracies have a free and fearless media. When politicians like Ms Gillard get away with using extortion to stop stories from being published we have a very big problem.
Here's the PNR webpage and its tribute to the late Ben Bradlee: