Bob Woodward is coming to VCU’s W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts tonight to give a lecture on “Truth, Freedom of Expression, Democracy and the Age of the American Presidency.” For those who follow politics, pay attention to the president’s antics, and are aware enough to know, Woodward is the fucking man. A champion of exceptional journalism, Woodward is best known for his 1973 coverage of the Watergate scandal alongside fellow reporter Carl Bernstein. That reporting eventually let President Richard Nixon to resign.
As a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Woodward continues to attract international acclaim. He never misses an opportunity to document chaos or speak truth to power through the nation’s tragedies and complexity; from the 9-11 attacks and Hollywood’s drug culture, to the CIA’s secret intelligence wars, Woodward is there.
As an associate editor of The Washington Post, Woodward has covered the past eight presidents and authored or co-authored 18 books. His latest work: Fear: Trump in the White House – is a case study of “deep background,” based on interviews with Trump’s cabinet advisors, containing specific dates and an almost seamless timeline. It has created a blistering national dialogue. And with its revelations of silent hysteria inside the Trump White House, it might actually be the book to get young people involved enough in politics to start voting again.
Tonight, Woodward will undoubtedly discuss the role the press plays in these complex times and how the public understands this era of misinformation from the podium. And in an age where media is threatened by those in power and in which continuous hearsay masquerades as news, the power of Woodward’s pen and experience is needed now more than ever.
Since his book was released, Woodward has been attacked by Trump and his proxies, who have called him “con of the public”, his book “nothing more than fabricated stories”, and according to Sarah Sanders, “the fear is coming from the Democrats.” His book clearly struck a nerve. And while it’s easy to laugh at the sight of Trump’s hapless crew putting out more fires than bills, they are still the ones in the White House.
As Max Boot, a veteran columnist for the Washington Post was quick to point out about Woodward’s book, “Even if Woodward doesn’t break ground in conceptual terms, he does provide damning new evidence to buttress what we already know — that after more than 18 months in office, Trump is just as unqualified as ever to be president.”
While most can agree problems exist with our government, the lack of public accountability remains our greatest problem. This is a symptom of the helplessness we all feel during this sketchy administration. Until we better understand our role in this new political reality, our role in bettering the democratic process will always be flimsy at best. Who better to give this lesson than one of them men who brought down another shitty president?
Woodward’s lecture will being at 6pm at the Singleton Center, with doors opening at 5pm. The event is free and open to the public. If the event is filled to capacity, video will be streamed to three overflow locations on campus — the James W. Black Music Center Recital Hall at 1015 Grove Ave., the James Branch Cabell Library’s Lecture Hall in Room 303 at 901 Park Ave. and Room 1164 of the T. Edward Temple Building, 901 W. Main St.