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Lowell Bergman; Investigative Reporting on Power
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Lowell Bergman; Berkeley.png
Lowell Bergman | UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Many years ago, at the end of an interview for Frontline regarding 60 Minutes and self-censorship, Lowell Bergman stated, “It’s always difficult with any publication or broadcaster to take on a subject or an institution that is as big as you are, or bigger, that has some commercial link, especially to your organization.  It’s always difficult… .  What has been adjudicated and established in the wake of Vietnam and the Civil Rights movement is the ability of the press to basically write or broadcast anything about the government.  There’s very few restrictions in that way.  It’s not true when we’re talking about private power, especially major Fortune 500 corporations, or people worth more than, say, a billion dollars.” The interviewer responded, “What a thing to say.  You can take down the President of the United States…”  And to end the interview, Bergman cut him short by saying, “But don’t screw with General Electric.”


That's also why Bergman didn't screw with the multibillion-dollar Corporation of The Regents of the University of California.  Instead, he screwed University of California students—in exchange for a long and distinguished career at the UC Berkeley Journalism School ("J-School" for members of that insiders club).

"Let me put it this way: if I found that I did have easy access to systems of power like journals and television, then I'd begin to be worried.  I'd think I'm doing something wrong because I ought to be trying to subvert those systems of power, and if I'm doing it and doing it honestly, they shouldn't want me around.  In those areas, misunderstanding (if you want to call it that) is almost an indication that you may well be on the right track.  It's not proof that you're on the right track, but it's an indication you may be.  If you're understood and appreciated, it's almost proof that you're not on the right track."  Noam Chomsky ©1991 "Language, politics, and composition"