Mark Danner discusses the relationship between journalists and institutions in the aftermath of the Iraq War and the WMD scandal with Paul Mazet, a French student based at the Université Paris Cité.
14/12/2022, ~70 minutes
00:00:00 STARTING DISCUSSION
Maybe first, if we start, I would be interested to hear a broad presentation about your career as a journalist before, during the Iraq war and after, just to have a broad view.
00:01:35 Mark Danner
I began covering foreign crisis, crisis coverage, conflict, war in the late 80s. My first big story I wrote was a three-part series for The New Yorker about Haiti where Jean Claude Duvalier had been overthrown and there was a so-called parenthèse when they were trying to choose a new president. It turned out to be a boarded election with a great deal of bloodshed. I went on to cover the Balkans. I wrote a book about the massacre in El Mozote, which was a massacre that took place during the Salvadoran Civil War. I reconstructed the massacre and also covered the exhumation of that site. In the Balkans, I was at the so-called Market Massacre which took place in 94, I believe.
00:02:50 Mark Danner
So I did a lot of coverage of war, and when the 9/11 happened I wrote a fair amount about U.S. policy after 9/11 and where I thought it was leading, which was not a good place. I did a fair amount of criticism of the War on Terror, wrote about torture and the eclipse of human rights under the War on Terror. When the run-up began to the Iraq war, I, unusually for me, took a public position against it, in part because many of my colleagues who I’d known for a long time and who were traditional liberals in the American context to my surprise, supported the proposed war. This would include Christopher Hitchens, George Packer, David Remnick. I could name various other people, but there was a very strong movement of people who had advocated for intervention in Bosnia, for example, for humanitarian intervention, as it was called to do the same in Iraq.
00:04:14 Mark Danner
The George W. Bush administration was pushing that intervention on a number of different grounds, including humanitarian ones. That is, that Saddam Hussein was a dictator running a totalitarian state, and he should be removed to make way for a democracy. I thought this was immensely simplistic and also hypocritical because many of the people who were in the administration at that time had actually been in the Reagan administration and then the George H. W. Bush administration when Saddam had gassed the Kurds, and they had said nothing about it. The idea that the impetus behind the invasion of Iraq was human rights, I thought, was fairly ludicrous and transparently self-serving and pretextual.
00:05:24 Mark Danner
After the war began, I went and reported on it for the New York Review of Books. I also did a series of debates opposing the war. The first one was against Christopher Hitchens in January 2003, so several months before the war began. That was in Berkeley with before several thousands of people. We then continued second debate the week the war began in Los Angeles at the Wiltern Theater. I was very strongly critical of the idea of going to war with Iraq. I thought there was no good reason for it and that also it would be a disaster. The administration’s picture of what was going on in Iraq was completely unrealistic and their plans for the invasion were completely unrealistic, and I thought it would be a disaster. That’s, I suppose, the background of me and writing about foreign affairs in Iraq.
Thank you. Now if you go deeper into the subject topic, let’s say, how did you feel the atmosphere within the American journalism community at that time just before the war? What was the context to this coverage of WMDs and to what happened after? What was also the atmosphere in the newsroom you were working in?
00:07:18 Mark Danner
New York Review of Books. During the run-up to the war itself, the emphasis was on the danger Iraq posed because of its supposed weapons of mass destruction. This was a very clever pretext to base the war on, because from the journalistic point of view, you have very few, if any sources of independent information. The only people who can inform you on the subject directly are the intelligent people in the intelligence community.
00:07:56 Mark Danner
One of the reasons why the debate was so hollow before the war was because there was not enough division among the American elite about the war. If you had had leading democratic senators who opposed the war, they probably would have leaked intelligence information disputing the clarity of evidence on weapons of mass destruction to members of the press. But because many leading Democrats, particularly those who had presidential ambitions, like Hillary Clinton for example, supported the war there wasn’t that source of independent information. The press was in the New York Times as notable in this regard was really manipulated quite effectively by the administration during the run-up to the war. They had the information, they could divvy it out, they could leak. Some of it was information about the intelligence estimates, about what was going on in Iraq.
00:09:16 Mark Danner
It should be said that a great deal of other information really was little more than propaganda. Condoleezza Rice repeatedly said: “We don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud”, which was an idiotic statement, not least because there really was no evidence of nuclear development in Iraq. In fact, the IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Administration, actually produced a report, I want to say February or March of 2003, that reiterated that there was no real evidence of nuclear. It’s very hard to completely hide a nuclear program. It requires a high degree of industrialization. That’s not the same as chemicals or biological. Those are much easier to hide. Which is another reason why weapons of mass destruction, the term, is a misnomer. It joins together 3 broad cases of classes of weapons that really don’t relate to one another.
00:10:35 Mark Danner
Anyway, much of the public information was little more than propaganda. There was a vigorous argument among intellectuals, but it was made less vigorous by the fact that a great part of the kind of liberal swath of American intellectual opinion supported the war. I found that very dismaying. I was kind of shocked at various of the people who I knew. I had been an interventionist when it came to Bosnia, which to me was truly a case of humanitarian intervention. That genocide was going on. There was a call to stop the genocide. There was no such genocide going on in Iraq. In fact, the United States had been perfectly fine to pal around with Saddam during the 80s, late 80s, early 90s, sorry, I should just say late 80s, and ignored these human rights violations. So I found this argument very much pretextual when it came to human rights. To go back to weapons, as I said it, it was a difficult thing for journalists to cover because they’re very much dependent on leaks from the bureaucracy. There was no independent way journalists could investigate whether there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
00:12:16 Mark Danner
A lot of the reporting was quite embarrassing. The most obvious is Judith Miller at the New York Times. There were other people at the times, Michael Gordon also. A lot of people did fairly embarrassing pieces that do not stand up to current scrutiny at all. That was true not only during the run-up to the war, but during the war’s first weeks, when Judy went to Iraq and spend her time chasing around people who are supposedly about to find weapons.
00:13:03 Mark Danner
I want to emphasize that as a reason for the war, the weapons of mass destruction case was purely a pretext. This was known within elite precincts of American opinion. After the war, Paul Wolfowitz admitted this. He said this was the weapons case, was a case that the bureaucracy could agree on. He said that in an interview in Vanity Fair.
00:13:39 Mark Danner
There was something very disingenuous not only about the argument in the lead up to the war, but then the argument after the war began and started to come apart, of people who simply argued that the war was doomed and terrible because the Bush administration had lied about weapons. That’s not, strictly speaking, accurate at all. I think they didn’t simply lie. I think most major officials believed that there were weapons in Iraq. What they didn’t believe was that was really a casus belli that required war. But they certainly believed there were weapons there. They certainly magnified and exaggerated the certainty with which the intelligence community argued that there were weapons. There’s no question about that. But the fact is that the weapons case was a pretext anyway, that was not the main reason for the war. The argument itself is swamped by bad faith on both ends.
You said that you were opposed to the war, you were shocked by the support your journalist colleagues were giving to the war. Does it mean that you developed a lot of skepticism, suspicions towards these statements on WMDs from the beginning?
00:15:32 Mark Danner
Yes, I was skeptical about it. What I was skeptical about — I would not have been surprised, I still won’t be surprised, if somebody opens a warehouse on an Iraqi military base and finds a bunch of old chemical weapons. But the fact is that’s not a reason to go to war. Do you know what I mean? So all of this has focused on what was, in effect, a propagandistic reason to go to war. The weapons don’t really matter a lot. Even if they had them, this would not be a good reason to go to war.
00:16:21 Mark Danner
Before the war began, a couple of things were obvious to me. One was that the case about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq’s hands was not the main reason the US wanted to go to war. That was obvious, and I think that was obvious to anybody who was really in a position to really pay attention. It also was obvious that the weapons themselves would not, even if Iraq had some, would not have justified an invasion. The argument is rather more complicated than it’s been presented.
00:17:07 Mark Danner
Now most people, particularly people who weren’t there at the time, the common version of Iraq was that George W Bush lied us into a war. This is a very convenient argument, particularly for people who supported the war. They can simply say: “Well, the president lied, I wouldn’t have supported it if he didn’t lie, and therefore I have no culpability”. A lot of people do have culpability because they supported an idiotic war of choice that undermined the United States position in the Middle East and, by the way, predictably undermine the US position in the Middle East. It’s not like, “Ho ho, how strange, there’s a Shia government, it’s allied with Iran. Who could have predicted that?”. It was utterly predictable. Utterly. Anyway, I don’t want to not get off on a tangent here. You know I want because I don’t have a lot of time.
Yes. If we go deeper into this topic, even though it was just a pretext, the institution presented misleading statements to justify the invasion. When it turned out that the weapons of mass destruction were missing, I’m wondering, what were the implications of these kinds of lies on the trusting relationship you had with institutions? Did it have impacts on the way you were considering official statements as sources? And I’m wondering, as you were in contact with your liberal colleagues who were supporting the war, did it have also impacts on their way on their trust with the institution and did they develop more skepticism and suspicion?
00:20:06 Mark Danner
Sure. That’s very clear. The Bush administration by the time of Iraq had distinguished itself for its ruthless use of propaganda. The entire of the post 9/11 Bush presidency was distinguished by ruthless use of lies, use of torture, violations of treaty commitments by the United States and in general, an attitude that the United States must make use of its prevalence, of its prevalent power. All of this, I thought the lies were disgusting, although they fit in with an American history of moving toward lies during wars. It wasn’t that unusual. There is a book by Clinton Rossiter that I recommend to you called constitutional dictatorship. Rossiter’s thesis is that during wartime the US becomes much more like a dictatorship. There’s a lot of truth to that. We saw it during the Bush administration.
00:21:47 Mark Danner
I don’t think my attitude was altered dramatically by the fact that there weren’t weapons. I suppose my attitude was altered to a degree by how incompetent the administration proved itself to be when it came to the actual fighting of the war. That, and one could say, not just incompetent, but the degree to which the administration told itself stories and believed its own stories.
00:22:21 Mark Danner
This should be placed at the feet of not just George W Bush, but Dick Cheney, the vice president, and Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, as well as the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Paul Wolfowitz. Because it would have been very difficult to fight a war in Iraq for years, they decided that Saddam could be removed, and a democracy installed in a matter of two or three months. Even though no one who knew anything about Iraq believed that, and there were a lot of people in the government who knew about Iraq, they essentially paid no attention. The officials in the administration essentially decided anyone who criticizes this fantasy, “we won’t listen to”.
00:23:29 Mark Danner
What shocked me, or at least surprised me, was how the administration was willing to believe its own propaganda. My father used to say, kidding yourself is bad, believing yourself when you’re kidding yourself is worse. That was the situation at the upper reaches of the administration.
00:23:56 Mark Danner
When it came time to realize that they couldn’t remove their troops in September of 2003 as they had expected, they had a very large problem. It wasn’t just the insurgency. It was the fact that the US military post Vietnam had been designed to only be able to fight a continuing war by calling up the reserves. They did not have enough troops. This became part of the real story of the Iraq War. That’s what surprised me, how incompetent they were and how they didn’t listen to anybody who knew what they were doing. This became worse when they sent Paul Bremer as the kind of pro council, who was a man who just knew nothing about Iraq and nothing about the Middle East, etc. Anyway, so one could go on with that.
00:25:01 Mark Danner
The second part of your question was whether what happened with weapons of mass destruction altered the opinion of colleagues of mine who had supported the war.
The trust they give to the official words and statements?
00:25:23 Mark Danner
It’s hard for me to say. I know the person who was really all in, who was talking a lot to Wolfowitz. Wolfowitz, the deputy Secretary of Defense, courted Christopher Hitchens. Christopher thought he had an inside track. Wolfowitz was giving him all this great information. Wolfowitz would tell him that they found nuclear weapon components and they and it was all bullshit. Christopher never wrote anything, to my knowledge, critical of the war. I never expected him to recant his support, but I did think he would write critically about the Bush administration that had so fucked everything up. He never did.
00:26:15 Mark Danner
Other writers like George Packer and others did criticize the war. David Remnick. I can’t speak for them. Whether it destroyed their belief in officials, you know that you’d have to ask them. Journalists tend to be fairly skeptical in general. Judith Miller would be a good person to ask about that.
00:26:45 Mark Danner
Journalists are not supposed to simply trust officials, and as I said at the beginning, one of the peculiarities about the situation leading up to the war was that the case was being made effectively on intelligence grounds. We know this. Our intelligence bureaucracy has proof. You can’t just walk into the CIA and get the proof. It comes to you in selective leaks. They leaked it to reporters like Judith Miller and Michael Gordon, who they knew were sympathetic. This is a very old story in journalism. Those reporters got played. How they feel about it now, I don’t know.
00:27:38 Mark Danner
It’s a risk of the business. I think another thing you have to put in the mix is that the New York Times had a relatively new executive editor in Howell Rains and Rains was desperate to get scoops. He thought the times needed to be much more aggressive in breaking news. He was willing to give front page space to Judith’s reporting, and a lot of people at the times knew that she wasn’t particularly reliable. If you go on my website you can find an interview that I did with Raines and Salzburger, the publisher, in the run-up to the war, and you’ll see some of that.
00:28:30 Mark Danner
Whether those people change, I’m sure that Christopher no longer trusted Wolfowitz so much. But he shouldn’t have in the 1st place. The first time he went to Iraq, he went in Wolfowitz’s entourage, which is not a very good way to get an active view of what’s going on in the ground.
Do you think that beyond the Bush administration, in general, this scandal of missing the WMDs and of officials lying with huge consequences after, it could have implications on the way you consider the official words, in general, even during Obama administration? And was it somewhere in your head when you were reporting on others international affairs, like, for instance, military intervention like in Libya or potential military intervention like it was the case for Syria at one point?
00:29:56 Mark Danner
I don’t think so. As I said, to me the big issue really wasn’t the fact that officials had lied. I think they exaggerated the certainty, obviously, saying “it’s a slam dunk” and Cheney saying “there is no doubt they have weapons of mass destruction”. Rumsfeld also saying “we have no doubt, we know where these weapons are”. Those were lies. They believe there were some weapons there. What they lied about was whether or not this justified a war. I have a rather different view, as I’ve tried to point out. I have a different view that officials just lied and that was why we went to war. I don’t think that’s true.
00:30:56 Mark Danner
I don’t think it really affected my views later in reporting on the Obama administration or reporting on torture. All these were instances in which officials lied, and the intelligence community lies as a business. Do you know what I mean? And if you don’t know that, you shouldn’t be reporting. This is what they do for a living. They lie. Bush repeatedly said we don’t torture, long after it was clear that the United States was torturing detainees. He said it publicly, and there was a lot of news showing that that wasn’t true. But officials lie all the time. The Bush administration made it — I would say the Bush administration lied more promiscuously than any administration before it, back to probably Lyndon Johnson and Nixon. They lied promiscuously about Vietnam.
00:32:13 Mark Danner
Trump, of course, surpassed all — Trump is a special case. He’s kind of constitutionally unable to tell the truth personally. He simply can’t tell the truth. He lies constantly, constantly. He’s a special case. I don’t think it altered my attitudes. I’m very skeptical about what officials say. I’ve spent a life, career writing about lies. The massacre at El Mozote: my first book, is about a massacre that was reported on the front page of the Washington Post, the New York Times. Then officials denied that it happened. These lies during wartime go back a very long time.
00:33:15 Mark Danner
What you say may be true for this generation of reporters. It is true that a lot of the elite press was dramatically embarrassed by the run-up to the Iraq war. That is true. There really was no elite journalistic institution in the United States, with the possible exception of McClatchy, that showed itself to be to really that had really done its job. That’s true. I’ve tried to say and said at the beginning of this interview that it was a particularly difficult case because it all came from the intelligence community. So there was no way to separately, objectively confirm things. I tried to make the point that if attitudes about the war had split the elite, if you had major Democratic senators or representatives who were against the war, who thought it was a…
We were talking about how the edit press was dramatically embarrassed, but what happened? You were discussing this and how they were embarrassed by the Iraq War.
00:00:28 Mark Danner
The elite press was embarrassed. I did try to suggest a few of the reasons that they got it so wrong. Some of it was bad reporting. Some of it was the need to score a scoop. Some of it was trusting officials who they shouldn’t have been trusting. Some of it was the fact that this was a story that only the intelligence agencies could verify and the officials essentially — Insofar as the officials lied, I think the most significant lie they told — There are two to reiterate what I said. The first was making what was kind of a pretext into a casus belli. The second, and perhaps more significant, was exaggerating the certainty that the intelligence agencies brought. The intelligence agencies had their own problems, as has been, delineated in numerous reports. The head of the CIA, George Tenet, owed his job to Bush because Bush didn’t fire him after September 11th. He was very political, not really an intelligence professional, very political guy.
00:02:02 Mark Danner
There are a lot of details here. But I do think that this may well have led to individual reporters being more skeptical. It certainly should have. As I say, the notion that the US Administration lied to the country into war is a simplification of what actually happened. It’s a useful simplification, especially for people who supported the war, who can now say “it wasn’t my fault for being stupid, it’s George W Bush’s fault for lying”. I’ve tried to explain to you why I think that’s not true because now, in retrospect, it’s simply treated as if it was this big lie. They knew there were no weapons there. They said there were, but they knew there weren’t. I think that’s wrong. I don’t think that’s the case, but that is taken for granted in a lot of various parts of the American political spectrum. The left, of course, completely thinks George Bush lied and the right, as exemplified by Donald Trump — There is a very strong part of the right now that is very against the Iraq war and against the Bush.
I get your point to say that it was not direct and obvious lies. They didn’t want it to lie. They were believing in something that turned out to be false and wrong.
00:03:55 Mark Danner
They exaggerated the certainty, there’s no question about that. So you can say they lied, but I think if Bush had known that there were no weapons there, which is kind of the stipulation of a lot of people now, that they knew all along there were no weapons, they wouldn’t have made that a casus belli. They wouldn’t have argued it. They assumed that there were going to be weapons there. What they lied about was that those required the US to go to war. They didn’t. But the fact of the weapons, I’m sure that most of them assumed there were weapons there.
This vision you have might be also why it didn’t have that much implication on the where you were considering the official words because you were already doing it with a lot of skepticism, and you already have been considered the American institution as more or less lying, and you had to be skeptical with them at any time, and in the same time for you, it was not, like you said, the lie that certain people try to picture it like it was.
00:05:26 Mark Danner
There’s a long history of high U.S. officials lying about war. The most prominent is Vietnam, during which for several years American officials essentially said that the war was making great progress, we’re winning the war, and gradually the journalism diverged from the official story. Early on there were a few reporters like David Halberstam at the New York Times who were very skeptical of what the officials were saying, but many more reporters who essentially reported what officials were saying. Eventually, as the war went on, it became more and more obvious that these arguments about making progress were wrong. If you went around Vietnam, you could tell that things were not getting better.
00:06:30 Mark Danner
Essentially, the lies of that war brought down a president. It brought down LBJ. Lyndon Johnson decided not to run again in 68, essentially because his lies about the war had left his credibility in tatters. Nixon persistently lied about the war. Right from the moment he stepped into office, when he argued that he had a secret plan to end the war, there was no such plan. His entire case during the 68 campaign was, “I have a secret plan to end the war”. He didn’t. He lied persistently, right up to the secret bombing of Cambodia. Then the Watergate scandal which led to Nixon’s resignation, the first president, only president in American history to resign. It was all about his lies. Anyone who is working, reporting at the top levels of American government who isn’t skeptical of officials is in the wrong business, I think.
00:07:55 Mark Danner
Having said that, a lot of American reporters got it wrong, and I’ve tried to show you why. I do think, about some of these people, the ones I’ve identified as my colleagues, liberal colleagues, they had their own reasons for wanting to believe in the war, and those reasons had to do with not the weapons argument but the humanitarian argument. That is, during the 90s, the United States stood by and watched a number of genocides, including the genocide in Bosnia, the genocide in Rwanda, and later the genocide in Darfur. And there began on the left, middle of the spectrum and left, a sympathy for what was then called humanitarian intervention. That is, when human rights are being violated on a massive scale, the United States has a responsibility to do something and this was codified by the United Nations in the so-called responsibility to protect right.
00:09:11 Mark Danner
A lot of the people, liberals in the middle and on the left who were sympathetic to the Iraq war, were sympathetic because the administration was making an argument based on humanitarian intervention that we have to liberate the Iraqi people. It’s important to remember that there were a lot of arguments going on, it wasn’t just weapons. That argument about liberating the Iraqi people appealed to people like George Packer, Christopher Hitchens, David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, Thomas Friedman at the New York Times, you can name others. They were sympathetic to the argument that the US should use its military to protect people who are being abused.
00:10:14 Mark Danner
As I said at the beginning, I found that argument maddening because it was so hypocritical because the same officials, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney, had all been in power when Saddam gassed the Kurds. That was arguably a genocide, and they did nothing about it. In fact, they continued good relations with Saddam, the so-called tilt to Iraq during the Iran Iraq war. I think that you can’t understand the liberal sympathy for the war without understanding that the arguments were more complex. They weren’t just about weapons. On the other hand, I think Christopher Hitchens is a good example of somebody who did believe in the weapons argument because his buddy Wolfowitz told him.
What is his name exactly? You said Christopher?
00:11:16 Mark Danner
Christopher Hitchens. He’s a very prominent journalist who’s deceased now, but he had a lot of influence on the left, born in Britain, wrote for Vanity Fair.
How do you write Hitchens?
00:11:38 Mark Danner
00:11:54 Mark Danner
Now I would be interested in the education of journalists as part of my research, and in a presentation of your academic career as a person involved in the education of journalists to know if the case of the Iraq war and the WMDs and the Iraq war was part of the way you were teaching journalism.
00:13:00 Mark Danner
Let me say a couple of things about it. We have graduate schools of journalism. We also have journalism majors in undergraduate departments. There are a lot of journalists who don’t go to journalism school. You do not need in the United States to go to journalism school to be a journalist, like you need to go to medical school to be a doctor. My view is that I don’t think you need to go to journalism school to be a very good journalist. I never went to journalism school. What you need is a good humanist education. When I say humanist, I’m talking about a strong knowledge of history, philosophy, rhetoric, the kind of classical virtues of how to read skeptically how to evaluate information, how to equip yourself with the tools that let you decide what is true and what is not.
00:14:15 Mark Danner
One problem I have with journalism school as it’s currently constituted, and I only have Berkeley to judge from, because Berkeley is the only school I know with any degree of thoroughness, is that it’s become very much a trade school. It teaches you how to do a website. It teaches you how to do multimedia. It teaches you how to do a video story. It teaches you how to do a radio story. It’s all about technic, do you understand? It’s not enough to me about giving you a real education.
00:15:03 Mark Danner
It’s quite possible to get out of the Berkeley Journalism School knowing nothing about Watergate, the Watergate scandal, which was inarguably the most important event in journalistic history of the last 50 years. It’s quite possible to graduate and have no idea what that was. Same thing with Vietnam. In effect, if you don’t know the history, what you fear happens, which is that people are not skeptical, they trust too much, they’re not aware of what has happened. That’s a major problem. How we teach journalism, that it’s much too oriented toward production. How to produce a piece, how to produce a film. Journalists today are required to know how to do everything, to know how to shoot a piece with an iPhone, to know how to record a piece, to know how to do a radio.
00:16:24 Mark Danner
You spend your time learning these techniques and not learning in depth the history of politics, which would tell you a lot. If you had a deep knowledge of history and of the gulf, you would have known a lot to be skeptical, for example, of the humanitarian case because you would have known what I just said about the Kurds, that is that the US was allied with the Iraqis and Saddam Hussein’s regime when Saddam killed 10s of thousands of Kurds with chemical weapons. That would have led you to a natural skepticism about the case being made before the 2003 war.
00:17:21 Mark Danner
It does have to do with, partly, deficiencies in education of journalists, but I wouldn’t necessarily describe it as a direct connection.
In your opinion, the case of the Iraq war was not taught to students. My last question will be: was the case of the Iraq war something you taught to students in your lessons?
00:18:02 Mark Danner
I teach my classes are seminar style classes with a lot of reading in various events like the Iraq War. So the answer to that is yes, and I think that you can’t be an effective political journalist without a good knowledge, a solid knowledge of history. I think that’s one of the things that the current generation lacks. I’m not saying that that was the case in 2003. That’s in a sense always the case. Journalists are not, at least in the United States, do not tend to be intellectuals. They’re much more intellectuals in France. Journalists are not intellectuals, usually, and it was a major problem during before the Iraq war, I think. The lack of history, the lack of skepticism.
00:19:11 Mark Danner
I will not block you more just to know, I know that you told me about David Remnick and George Packer. I’m currently trying to reach them. I was just wondering if you had some name of journalists that that’s actually were not very skeptical at that time and that I could try to reach, or maybe you have their contacts or something?I mean to me that if I were you, I would definitely talk to Packer. I would talk to Remnick and you can get both of it. You can get Packer through the Atlantic and Remnick through The New Yorker.
00:20:56 – 00:21:39 ENDING DISCUSSION