Richard Armitage on the Media and National Security
Richard Armitage was the 13th United States Deputy Secretary of State, serving from 2001 to 2005. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and then after the fall of Saigon moved to Washington D.C. to work as a consultant for the United States Department of Defense, which sent him to Tehran and Bangkok.
Throughout the late 70s and early 80s, Armitage worked as an aide and foreign policy advisor to politicians including Senator Bob Dole and President-elect Ronald Reagan. When Reagan was elected, Armitage was appointed to the Department of Defense. In the 1990s, Armitage worked in the private sector before being confirmed as Deputy Secretary of State with the election of George W. Bush in 2001. He left the post in 2005.
Armitage was educated at the United States Naval Academy. He is an avid bodybuilder, and speaks many languages, including Vietnamese.
Question: Does the media have too much say in matters of national security?
Armitage: No. What has too much say is a newspaper like the New York Times, the Washington Post, notwithstanding whatever their biases. They have an actually small readership. And a newspaper like the former ___________ has a much larger readership. And if you look at their reporting . . . For instance, all during the Iraq war, you’ll find they did very good – very cogent and very critical. But we give too much credence to very lightly read newspapers. The readership of the New York Times and the Washington Post is not a million combined. But if . . . I don’t think . . . In fact if I read things correctly, most Americans now are getting their news online, or unfortunately from the Stewart show . . . “The Daily Show” which, I must say, seems to find a seam and find the vulnerability of whatever they go after. I enjoy it enormously, but I’m not sure it’s a real good phenomenon in the long run.
Richard Armitage on the problem of national security and the press
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