The Washington Post

Sunshine keep government operating in the light

A man known for his candor and aversion to hyperbole, Ben Bradlee, portrayed by Jason Robards, stared down his two young charges while standing in a robe and slippers on his front lawn. As only the legendary journalist could, he captured the essence of it all in a few short, direct words.

“Nothing’s riding on this,” the editor of the Washington Post said to reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, played in “All the President’s Men” by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman. “Except the, uh, First Amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the press and maybe the future of the country.”

Bradlee, of course, was referring to the reporting on Watergate that eventually felled the...