(My review on goodreads)

Hersh is arguably the premier living investigative journalist in America. Starting with his exposé of the chemical / biological warfare program in the early 60s, the My Lai massacre in the late 60s, Watergate in the 70s, and on through Abu Ghraib and Syria - he has had the instincts and has done the hard work of uncovering facts about our government that government officials would rather keep in the dark. As a result he is the object of deep hatred on the part of those government officials, as well as from certain mainstream stenographersjournalists.

Reporter is a really engrossing book. His story of how he tracked down Lt. Calley gives you a glimpse into the lengths he was willing to go to get to the bottom of a story: searching buildings in the enormous Fort Benning, running away from a suspicious sergeant while on base, and half threatening a soldier to give up information.

As a small aside, he worked as press secretary for Eugene McCarthy for a couple months in eaarly 1968 during McCarthy’s primary campaign for the Democratic party presidential nomination. He quit when he realized that McCarthy didn’t take his own campaign seriously and refused to take good advice when given. Sad, really.

He laments near the beginning of the book that journalism has changed, probably forever or for a long time, because of the budget cuts at major news organizations but also, and maybe more importantly, because of the 24 hour news cycle. It is no longer as possible to do the kind of deep investigative journalism that he has spent his life doing - taking on stories that might require months of research before anything is published. He mentions a few exceptions - Vox, truthout, and a couple others - but does not mention The Intercept. Why is that, I wonder. Some bad blood there?



Book cover

Metadata Info

  • Title: Reporter: A Memoir
  • Author: Seymour M. Hersh
  • Published: 2018
  • ISBN: 0307263959
  • Buy: Amazon search
  • Check out: Seattle library
  • Rating: 5.0 stars