The Post – Quotes
McNamara: Are things [in Vietnam] better or worse?
Dan Ellsberg: What I’m impressed by is how much they are the same.
Ben: We can’t have an administration dictating to us how we cover [the news]...
Ben: Anybody else tired of reading the news instead of reporting it?!
Ben: McNamara is talking to you because you are the publisher of the Post, so you can defend him.
Ben: You have a relationship with Bob McNamara, but don’t you also have an obligation to the community?
[On why America didn’t pull out of a losing war:] 10% was to help the Vietnamese. 20% was to hold back the commies. The other 80% was [to not lose face, and admit America couldn’t win.]
Ben: Politicians and the press—they trusted each other so they could go to the same dinner parties.
Ben: Someone can’t be both a friend and a source.
Ben: Those days [the days of politicians and press being friends and allies] have to be over. We need to be the check on their power.
Kay: I don’t have a problem holding them accountable, but I can’t hold them accountable if we don’t have a newspaper.
Kay: I do believe that you were trying to do your best. And I know how hard it can be.
Ben: If we live in a world where the government can tell us what we can and can’t print, then the paper as it is ceases to exist anyway.
Ben: The only way to assert the right to publish is to publish.
Tony Bradlee: When you’re told time and time again you’re not good enough... When they look past you as if you’re not even there... You begin to believe it. To risk your fortune and your entire life... Well, I think that’s brave.
Kay: I understand we have a responsibility to the employees and the long-term health of the paper. Yet, the prospectus talks about [excellence in reporting and the overall good of the nation].
Kay: This is no longer my father’s company and it’s no longer my husband’s company. It’s my company; and anybody who doesn’t see that probably doesn’t belong on my board.
Arthur Parsons: These are extraordinary times.
Kay: Are they though? Are they? For a newspaper?
Legal Representative: Nothing less than the integrity of the presidency is at stake.
Ben: They all followed your lead and published the papers.
Judge’s ruling: The founding fathers gave the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its roll in our democracy. The press was to serve the governed, not the governors.
Kay, quoting her late husband: The news—the first rough draft of history.
Kay: We don’t always get it right, but if we can just keep on it...