Democracy Dies In The Darkness

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

One of my favorite scenes in All The President’s Men (1976) is when Robert Redford (as Bob Woodward) & Dustin Hoffman (as Carl Bernstein) sit in the Library of Congress, laboriously pouring over notes while researching a lead. Stories just don’t fall from the sky: much hard work is involved.

This Post is in tribute to the Reporters, Journalists, Commentators who do not cave under pressure; who did not make a pilgrimage to Trump Tower to ensure access; who do not wait for #45 to pivot. These individuals face daily tweets/onslaughts questioning their work from a regime full of bullies & over inflated incompetents. These members of the media provide an invaluable service to our country, our freedom, the world. Democracy dies in the darkness; here’s a Thank You to the people who daily shine a light for the good.

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49 thoughts on “Democracy Dies In The Darkness”

  1. It was a very nice day yesterday.  The pot roast turned out wonderful, accompanied by a California petite shiraz to bring out the flavors of the vegetables with the mushrooms and tender beef.  I did change to Benny Goodman channel for a bit of that Swing.

    Jace – sorry to hear of your fight.  A co-worker had the lymph nodes removed and months of radiation treatment, he is now cancer free.

    I enjoy the Sue Grafton Millhorne series.  Intrepid investigator she is.

    This morning’s reads about SFB makes it appear he is flailing around, deeply disturbed and obviously not in this universe (not much different there).  Of course the entire GOP leadership is doing the same thing too as their “victory” of getting a tax cut for the one percent through the Senate may unravel into a pool of dairy barn floor scrapings.  Can they keep the government running after pissing off the Dems?  I do not think so.

    But, be happy, smile and the world smiles too.  I just wonder how many smiles and laughs there are in the WH this morning?

  2. He said it. “Grab ’em by the pussy.”
    Of course he said it. And we laughed along, without a single doubt that this was hypothetical hot air from America’s highest-rated bloviator. Along with Donald Trump and me, there were seven other guys present on the bus at the time, and every single one of us assumed we were listening to a crass standup act. He was performing. Surely, we thought, none of this was real.
    We now know better.
    Recently I sat down and read an article dating from October of 2016; it was published days after my departure from NBC, a time when I wasn’t processing anything productively. In it, the author reviewed the various firsthand accounts about Mr. Trump that, at that point, had come from 20 women.
    Some of what Natasha Stoynoff, Rachel Crooks, Jessica Leeds and Jill Harth alleged involved forceful kissing. Ms. Harth said he pushed her up against a wall, with his hands all over her, trying to kiss her.
    “He was relentless,” she said. “I didn’t know how to handle it.” Her story makes the whole “better use some Tic Tacs” and “just start kissing them” routine real. I believe her.
    Kristin Anderson said that Mr. Trump reached under her skirtand “touched her vagina through her underwear” while they were at a New York nightclub in the 1990s. That makes the “grab ’em by the pussy” routine real. I believe her.

  3. “He’s not worth a bloody penny of it…….he can’t even do ONE stupid trick…..”

    sturge, he learned to turn a trick with you, a $1500 one, in addition to turning you into a cat slave, butler, personal shopper etc.

  4. sjwny, thanks for a thought provoking post.   speaking of posts and democracy dying in darkness, last February there was much ado about wapo’s new motto.  here’s an excerpt from back then explaining their take on how it came to be:

    The Post decided to come up with a slogan nearly a year ago, long before Trump was the Republican presidential nominee, senior executives said. The paper hasn’t had an official slogan in its 140-year existence, although it did get some mileage with a long-running advertising tag­line, “If you don’t get it, you don’t get it.”

    The paper’s owner, founder Jeffrey P. Bezos, used the phrase in an interview with The Post’s executive editor, Martin Baron, at a tech forum at The Post last May. “I think a lot of us believe this, that democracy dies in darkness, that certain institutions have a very important role in making sure that there is light,” he said at the time, speaking of his reasons for buying the paper.

    Bezos apparently heard the phrase from legendary investigative reporter Bob Woodward, a Post associate editor. Woodward said he referenced it during a presentation at a conference that Bezos attended in 2015 in which Woodward talked about “The Last of the President’s Men,” his most recent book about the Watergate scandal.

    But Woodward, who has used the phrase in reference to President Nixon for years, said he didn’t coin it; he read it some years earlier in a judicial opinion in a First Amendment case. He couldn’t recall the specifics of the case or the name of the judge who wrote the opinion.

    “It goes way back,” he said. “It’s definitely not directed at Trump. It’s about the dangers of secrecy in government, which is what I worry about most. The judge who said it got it right.”

    Woodward’s source appears to be Judge Damon J. Keith, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, who ruled in a pre-Watergate era case that the government couldn’t wiretap individuals without a warrant. In his decision, Keith apparently coined a variation on The Post’s motto, writing that “Democracy dies in the dark.”

    In any case, the phrase was at the center of discussions when a small group of Post employees, including Baron and Publisher Fred Ryan, began meeting last year to develop a slogan. One planning document for the group suggested finding a “positive” variation on the early contender “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”


    The group ultimately ended up where it started — with “Democracy Dies in Darkness.”

    Which means that the slogan, which will be added to print copies of the paper next week, could be among the most famous four words that Woodward has ever contributed to The Post. In time, the phrase might even rival “All the President’s Men,” the memorable title of the bestseller Woodward wrote with Carl Bernstein about Nixon’s fall.

    “Well,” Woodward said, “it’s better than ‘Follow the money,’ ” the famous movie line that Woodward’s character got from his anonymous Watergate source, Deep Throat.

  5. Guilty as charged: The title of today’s offering is in tribute to & an almost exact ripoff from the Post. Meant with admiration & respect.

    Americans owe the Washington Post & the New York Times much for what the dedicated employees at these news outlets have done. They protect democracy from the real #FakeNews & bad actors in history.

  6. Awaiting the morning glory and the sunrise…the new Wapo motto decision came about the same time I became a sun worshiper…seeing the truth in the sunlight, sticking to the sunny side of the street.   Truth vs. fake news.  Leaving the dark side to the trolls whom I never look in the eye. The legitimacy of fox news into our main network and media outlets?   The downfall of the US under murdoch and the rich country of china and their capo, russia who hacked away at our institutions and decency standards.

    Meanwhile, the national enquirer is feeding trump the sex scandals of congress.   dirt on dirt.  trumps reaction tells me that the wee-wee leaks vid is real.  tillerson’s job depends on it!    trump is a loser, but the russian hack made this humperdoo of a prez a winner.   The joke is on us via faux news.

  7. bb, noticed the petite syrah made it to your table...michael/david winery —

    The winery makes 7 deadly zins, freak show and a lovely petite syrah with the elephant label.    A red wine circus in your mouth!   High in alcohol content, more fun than a barrel of monkeys.   The winos are particularly fond of freak show, however.

  8. So @realDonaldTrump isn’t really Donald Trump?  I’m confused. Oh, and welcome to a new low “Mr. President”. 33% is a new low even for you.

  9. I can tell trump is in trouble by the lead stories on the right-wing media.  repugs are pushing tax cuts, pushing the repug agenda while there is time.  The government shutdown is just hours away (friday is for budget, not news drops).   The sex scandals should have been enough to keep our eyes off of the regression-du-jour…from stinky zinke to  munchkin…diminishing fools.  trump is losing his grip as his approval drops to the lowest ever.  No election hack to fall back on and he is pissing-off putie about tillerson while pompeo continues to whisper sweet nothings in trumps gross ear.   trump is out-of-control and the junta generals probably know trump will disintegrate by the end-of-the year when some more indictments spring-up under the Christmas tree.  The entire repug party is complicit at this point.

  10. Where is the white shadow prez?  pence has been hiding (he would have to wear a gold suit to hide in the current drapes of the WH) since ayers was allegedly interviewed by the fbi — America First Policies under scrutiny.
    From the article —

    Along with the group’s connection to one of Mueller’s latest targets, it also has a friend in even higher places — Vice President Mike Pence’s Chief of Staff Nick Ayers.
    According to an ABC published soon after Ayers was confirmed as the vice president’s second chief of staff, the young Republican was a “leader” of AFP.

  11. sjwny, no way did I mean to accuse you of ripping off wapo.  they (woodward to be exact) stole it from judge keith during Watergate days.  too bad judges can’t accept residuals and royalties for their snappy sayings used by others to make money selling books and newspapers.

    notwithstanding my above snark, I agree with your comment “Americans owe the Washington Post & the New York Times much for what the dedicated employees at these news outlets have done. They protect democracy from the real #FakeNews & bad actors in history.”

  12. cnn:
    Billy Bush is reentering the public eye, and he’s starting by sending a message to President Trump.
    Yes, Donald Trump, You Said That” is the headline of Bush’s op-ed for The New York Times.

    The piece was published online Sunday night, one day before Bush appears on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” — an interview that was arranged just a few days ago.
    Bush says he decided to speak out after news reports indicated that Trump has been casting doubt on the authenticity of the so-called “Access Hollywood” tape.


    “He said it. ‘Grab ’em by the p****,'” Bush wrote in his op-ed Sunday. “Of course he said it.”

    “Every single one of us assumed we were listening to a crass standup act,” Bush said. “He was performing. Surely, we thought, none of this was real. We now know better.”

    Bush — a relation of former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — lost his job on NBC’s “Today” show when the tape was published last year.

  13. No one owns the sun, not even underworld trump.  He cannot stop the sunlight, the cleansing rays of reality from the shadows of lies and untruth.    The trumpence junta released artificial stupidity upon the citizens and the 33% of them gobbled it up like it was bitcoin (the phony currency of the uber wealthy).    Now we have an army of congressional repugs blocking the sunlight so they can do the wealthy’s bidding in the dark of the night.   The nights are longer this time of year and repugs know it!


  14. BW, why do you say what the trumpence junta released is artificial stupidity?  Seems pretty genuine to me.

  15. From Wapo this morning:

    Trump’s Saturday tweets had stoked controversy, as he wrote that “I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI.” Previously, the White House had cited only the false statements to Pence as a rationale for dismissing Flynn.
    Dowd confirmed Sunday that he had drafted the tweet for Trump and acknowledged that it was sloppily worded. He said it was inaccurate to say the president was told that Flynn had lied to the FBI. Dowd said Sunday that Trump knew only what acting attorney general Sally Yates had told the White House counsel: that Flynn’s accounts to the agents interviewing him were the same as those Flynn gave Pence, and “that the [Justice] Department was not accusing him of lying.”

    I wonder what Dowd is paid per hour.  I am sure I could concoct a better lie than that – at least mine would be internally consistent and would not provide additional ammunition for Mueller’s obstruction investigation – and probably at a lower hourly rate.

    BTW, the article is worth the read.

  16. pogo…I call fake news, phony stories, false headlines — artificial stupidity.  AS is the exact opposite of AI (artificial intelligence).  Both are robo packaged for mass consumption.   A slight of the artificial news feeds and we have a false narrative, a deceptive thread…driven about the world by digital trolls.


  17. “democracy dies in darkness” is a heckava lot better motto than NYT’s “all the news that’s fit to print” …. whatever that means.  btw, what’s the wall st journal  traditional motto and has it change since bought by the murdochs?

    according to wiki, the chi trib’s original motto was “World’s Greatest Newspaper” but is now “An American Paper for Americans.”

  18. BW – While looking at my wine rack for a red for the pot roast I realized I need to go wine shopping again.  I was out of all the heavy reds which kick a beef roast in the rear to wake it up.  The petite shiraz was from my neighbor, she has better understanding of wine than I do.

    MSNBC must be hurting for commentariot, Donna Brazille is yacking away.

    Just wait until SFB approval goes below thirty percent.  At that point GOP will feel comfortable pulling the plug on him and begin impeachment.

    The clock is ticking down to the government shutdown.  The multimillionaires in the Congress are floating in their own reality, one disassociated with SFB or the reality we all live in.  People are not getting any happier from the two am Saturday “victory”.

  19. If you look at everyday, you will see the AS narrative for the day.   faux news celebrities still populate the trumpence junta in positions of power and communications.  trump is prez because of faux news…the original feed to the older citizens who still watch tv, read newspapers.  The digital takeover of the media has sped-up the process, but faux news is still the granddaddy of fake news.

  20. sjwny: Great reminder that we still have journalists we can admire in the midst of the quagmire of half truths and whole lies that our insane leader has tried to push on the American people. The news organizations that have promulgated trumpletstiltskins fake news diatribes should be ashamed to call what they do journalism. It’s heartening to see that the majority of Americans have not been duped by the real fake news outlets (fox, brietbart et al) Shining the light in the dark corners may eventually get us out of the mess we’re in. Those who fell in line, lock stepping with the GOP no matter what, will soon be exposed for what they are and receive their just rewards…prison, impeachment and what I would love the best, loss of money/power! Hit ’em where it hurts! Young, honest, intelligent, energetic Democrats need to step up to the plate right now and seize the moment!

  21. I dunno BW, still seems like the stupidity part of it is very real. The “news” part, now that’s artificial.

    Oh, and there’s no way I’m going to watch Fox each day (frankly, or ever) I know it would inform me, but hey, the holidays are here and I don’t need the BS.

  22. SJ, the camera work in that scene and so many others was marvelous, really set the tone. Also, the one where camera pans out as Woodward (Redford) driving from his apartment, ultimately showing nearly the entire city. It actually starts in our neighborhood (where Redford lived) — you can see every place we lived in the beginning of the scene.

  23. All the President’s Men is one of my go to movies to buck up the old hopes.

    Happened to catch a few words of the orange hate monger yelling something about HRC this morning.  I am as fast with the mute button with him as with the bush the younger/cheney/rumsfeld and the rest.  The fewer words I hear from SFB the happier I am.

  24. SJ, thanks for doing this shout-out to the media. Warts and all, we’d be screwed without them. When I first saw that logo on the Post I thought it was too “dark” but I get their point. Still, I’d go with something brighter such as Democracy shines in the light.

  25. Trump lawyer is working on his obstruction defense ..

    John Dowd: The “President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case.” (Axios)

    In other words, he’s above the law. Dowd needs to keep trying.

  26. Amen, Poobah. Aside from “The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America” where does Dowd think his position as chief law enforcement officer derives? Unless I missed it, there is no such position in the Constitution.

  27. pogo, and let’s not forget that other thingie in Article II: the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed”

  28. Pat,

    I find no slogan or boast printed on my copies of the Journal. IMO it is an exceptionally worthwhile daily newspaper for curious people such as I. Looking at Saturday’s editorials, I find conclusions such as these:

    –“The great irony is that the GOP is raising taxes on some of its most loyal voters if individual rates stay as they are.”

    –“Mr Conyers knows the facts of his case. He should weigh them against the new standards of acceptable conduct, consider how he wants to be remembered, and act accordingly.”

    Certainly I find it difficult to believe those opinions reflect Mr Murdoch’s heartfelt beliefs.


  29. And I would hazard to say that a President may be impeached and convicted of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.  Under Dowd’s theory, if I understand it, a president could not be impeached and convicted and removed from office for any act that occurred in the course of his constitutionally defined duties.  I think that renders the words “high crimes and misdemeanors” virtually meaningless unless he has a life of crime on the side.  I do not think that was the intent of the framers.  And wasn’t that obstruction of justice issue put to rest in the first article of impeachment against Nixon rejecting any “in the course of his constitutional powers” defense?  Not that this House of representatives would recognize that – and apparently Dowd doesn’t either.

  30. Of course it never went this far, but Article 1 of the Nixon Impeachment Articles read:

    Article I alleged in part:

    On June 17, 1972, and prior thereto, agents of the Committee for the Re-election of the President committed unlawful entry of the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee in Washington, District of Columbia, for the purpose of securing political intelligence. Subsequent thereto, Richard M. Nixon, using the powers of his high office, engaged personally and through his close subordinates and agents, in a course of conduct or plan designed to delay, impede, and obstruct the investigation of such illegal entry; to cover up, conceal and protect those responsible; and to conceal the existence and scope of other unlawful covert activities.

    Change the date and make it specific to SF, et voila.

  31. Trump’s sexual abuse accusers finally getting attention they deserve. If he again calls them liars, more defamation suits inside statute of limitations.

  32. craig, you mentioned…that other thingie in Article II: the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed” in your discussion with pogo.  in citing that lawyer dowd would argue:  exactly! my client the twit is doing his damnedest to execute every law he disagrees with…  hang it, fry it and shoot it at dawn.

  33. craig, where is the research/investigative journalism on the threats (what & by whom) that made one accuser cancelled press conf because of threats and later dropped her lawsuit fearing the threats?

    seems it would be a big story either way (1) she’s telling the truth and he’s a pedophile or (2) she’s a fraud and this is who put her up to it to discredit him

  34. here’s an update from  today’s wapo on another accuser:   Trump may face a reckoning in case brought by female accuser


    The defamation suit filed in January in the New York State Supreme Court by Zervos, a short-lived contestant on “The Apprentice,” has reached a critical point, with oral arguments over Trump’s motion to dismiss scheduled for Tuesday, after which the judge is expected to rule on whether the case may move forward.

    If it proceeds, Zervos’s attorneys could gather and make public incidents from Trump’s past and Trump could be called to testify, with the unwelcome specter of a former president looming over him: It was Bill Clinton’s misleading sworn testimony — not the repeated allegations of sexual harassment against him — that eventually led to his impeachment.

    “It’s almost a train you can’t stop going down the tracks, said Joseph Cammarata, who represented Paula Jones against Clinton and, more recently, represented seven Cosby accusers in a defamation suit. “It opens him up to have to answer questions about sexual relations, other relationships, what might have been said, to open up your whole life.”


  35. Drinking from a fire hose

    Drinking from a waterfall

    Just plain drinking

    So far this afternoon it has been confirmed that Paul Manafort, the Russian loving criminal, has been ghost writing a column for Ukraine use, oh yes in conjunction with his FSB/GRU friend.  Also that K.T. McFarland, woman who emailed that the Russians did the dirty deed of tossing the election to SFB, lied to Congress about “not” knowing Russians.

    What is it about the Soviets and now Russians that has drawn these people together?  It cannot be love of the orange rat.  There is nothing lovable about a predator and bully.

    What is the BIG THING these people are willing to lie about to protect? So far only Manafort has a background sufficient to suggest he is a Russian agent.  The rest are lying and doing it big time.  And nothing that has come out so far is worthy of going to prison for.  There has to be a bigger thing, something so enormous that they are willing to give their lives for.  We are looking at close to two dozen people ready to spend twenty years staring a a wall just to keep a secret.  That is one hell of a secret.

  36. patd,

    No offense taken taken. I chose the title deliberately & with a purpose.

    All the President’s Men is a movie of literal & figurative angles. The camera work is amazing, capturing the enormity with the miniscule, the excitement with the mundane. When this movie came out it inspired many young people to take up journalism. Wondering how many followed through, are they still at it.

    The story of Watergate was originally assigned to the Local Desk. Thank goodness it didn’t die there.


  37. john dowd just missed quoting that other stupid john, john ehrlichmann. Of course, the president can be prosecuted for obstruction of justice.

    Does trump hire some headhunting firm to assemble the stupidest people around him ? In attempting to take the fall for the president’s self-incriminating tweet, dowd has 1) failed to protect the president 2) severed the attorney-client privilege, 3) potentially made himself a witness against trump, and 4) set himself up for disbarment, and possibly even criminal prosecution. It is hard to believe that a criminal lawyer in the history of the US, maybe the world) has ever been so damned stupid.

    He obviously deserves a gigantic medal.

    Now the question is, what did pence know, and when did he know it ?

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