Reporter: ‘Obama a Disaster as President,’ NYTimes D.C. Bureau is ‘Wimpy’

-By Warner Todd Huston

In a new recorded interview, Gay Talese, a longtime Washington reporter, was refreshingly forthcoming about the failures of the media to properly report on the Obama administration and had some very unkind things to say about both the “disaster” that President Obama has become and the “wimpy” New York Times D.C. bureau that is reporting on him.

Talese, a reporter since the 1960s for such outlets as The New York Times and Esquire, did mention in the podcast interview at that the Old Gray Lady is a “better paper” than when he worked for it. But it goes downhill from there.

The Times, Talese says, “doesn’t have the antigovernment tone that I want.”

He had much more to say after that.

“If I was editor, I would get people after Obama. I voted for the guy, but he’s a disaster as a president. And a disaster most through his Justice Department and muzzling the press. Succeeding,” the elder journalist said.

He also lamented that there are no go-getters, no tough guys in the editor’s chairs or to push the hard story any more. “And nobody’s–there’s no Salisbury, Halberstam to bust ass in Washington anymore,” Talese said.

Talese was referring to legendary Times editor and foreign correspondent Harrison Salisbury and Pulitzer-winning journalist David Halberstam.

Then the famed journalist denigrated the paper’s newsroom saying, “That Washington bureau is a wimpy place right now and has been since Obama’s election, or since 9/11 actually.”

Talese was also unhappy with the practice of “embeded journalists” that became all the rage during the Iran and Iraq wars of Bush’s era and today.

“When you allow a journalist to ride in a tank that is owned by the Defense Department, you become a flunky of the Defense Department. You become identified with the troops that are saving your ass in Iraq,” he said.

Talese’s latest book is an autobiography of sorts titled, A Writer’s Life.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Huston has also appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and many local TV shows as well as numerous talk radio shows throughout the country.

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