“The truth of what goes on is not on the Internet,” said Bob Woodward recently, in response to questions about internet reporting. The Web “can supplement. It can help advance,” Woodward continued. “But the truth resides with people. Human sources.”
Carl Bernstein, Woodward’s Watergate collaborator and friend, had similar feelings. “We had a readership that was much more open to real fact than today,” Bernstein said. The Watergate story done today, he said, probably wouldn’t “withstand this cultural reception. It might get ground up in the process.”
Negative reviews of internet reporting weren’t the only anti-tech attitudes held by the pair. “All the blogs and Twitter and Facebook are all part of a conversation and a discussion, and by and large I think it’s good and it’s healthy,” Woodward said. “People will sort out the information they’re going to use and need. But I’m not sure that being connected every minute is a good thing.”
Woodward and Bernstein simply don’t ‘get it’. Their comments sound resentful towards something they simply don’t understand. Woodward’s comment on truth lying within human sources is painfully obvious. It seems to me that Woodward sees ‘the Internet’ as some giant, autonomous, untruthful machine. Of course human beings are the sources of truth, and we use the Internet as a tool to help spread those truths. How can Woodward say Watergate may not have happened in today’s climate when we have some official, classified document showing up on Wikileaks every other week? Their words are those of bitter, confused, old men; nothing more.