Bob Woodward is one of the most legendary journalists still working today, most famous for his role in breaking the news on Watergate. His new book on the Trump administration, "Rage," based on taped conversations Woodward had with the president several months ago, publicly comes out today. Many journalists have criticized Woodward for not coming out sooner with this information when he first got his hands on it, while others say Woodward's decision to save it for a book was a perfectly reasonable choice. Asst. Opinion Editor Cristobal Spielmann and Opinion Intern Caroline Thoms go head-to-head on the "Rage" tapes.
One of three central tenants that all of us at the Loyolan always seek to uphold is relevancy. This doesn't just mean knowing what your audience is expecting to read, but also that what you do write is current and needs to be read as soon as possible. Woodward failed to fulfill that expectation when presented with first-hand evidence of Trump knowing the dangers of COVID-19 weeks before publicly recognizing the threat after consistently downplaying the American epidemic. If another journalist had this information after interviewing the president himself, they would have immediately run it through copy. Instead, Woodward published his findings in a book long after most people knew Trump was lying about the virus, which has now killed 200,000 Americans, or about an entire Glendale. Even if people already knew Trump was lying back in February, it would have been nice to have that on the record. This criticism has been shared by multiple journalists such as, freelance science journalist Erin Biba, who tweeted out Thursday, "It legitimately doesn't matter what the end result would have been. [Woodward] had a journalistic duty to release the information." When the news today travels at the speed of light and whether or not we can still go to a restaurant or board an interstate flight changes by the second, revealing the president's incompetence in a book is an archaic form of journalism.
This is the opinion of Cristobal Spielmann, a junior environmental science major from Brentwood, Tennessee. Tweet comments @LALoyolan or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The old saying goes, “timing is everything." Knowing when to disclose information can be crucial. In the past week, one piece of significant information has stirred up controversy. Woodward conducted 18 interviews with the president, discussing topics such as foreign relations, economic progress and the future of American racism. In a conversation with NPR, Woodward explained that President Trump, “wanted to always play it down … [and] still likes playing it down because [he doesn't] want to create a panic." Releasing the book now keeps the American public informed on the irrationality of our current administration. The American public deserves this important reminder as we move closer to the election. In the same interview with NPR, Woodward spoke on the importance of the public understanding of the president’s motivations: “He had the information. He knew how dangerous it was. And while the deadly disease ripped through our nation, he failed to do his job on purpose." Woodward waited to release these interviews strategically because now the president will be held accountable for how he has handled the virus. Bob Woodward provides food for thought on how a president should act and the importance of putting the American public’s need above the president's.
This is the opinion of Caroline Thoms, a sophomore English major from Chicago, Illinois. Tweet comments @LALoyolan or email email@example.com.