Since taking the helm of The New Yorker in 1998, David Remnick has returned the magazine to its profitable glory days. A graduate of Princeton University, he began his journalistic career as a night police reporter at the Washington Post in 1982, becoming the paper's Moscow correspondent in 1988. His coverage of the Soviet Union's collapse led to his Pulitzer Prize-winning 1993 book "Lenin's Tomb." His latest book "The Bridge," is a biography of President Barack Obama. He lives in New York with his wife, Esther Fein, and their three children.
David Remnick: I think the media has a share of responsibility for not getting at the nub of the most difficult question of all, in the beginning of the war, and that’s weapons of mass destruction. No one, save some pieces in Knight Ridder and a few other places, cast sufficient doubt of that crucial issue to halt that freight train that was the [George W.] Bush administration. And it was an ideological freight train.
I don’t think opinion journalism was going to halt that freight train of the [George W.] Bush administration. I think the only thing that could possibly, conceivably have derailed it is if somehow investigative reporting had discovered that the entire WMD thing was a sham. And it was a sham, and a historical sham.
And no one in a way sufficient and large enough, despite some excellent efforts, including Knight Ridder, clearly did that.
I think clearly there’s been more self-laceration and self-examination in the journalistic world than in the White House.