June 1, 2005: Ted Koppel Interviews Ben Bradlee

Bradlee describes the pressure of reporting on the Watergate scandal for The Washington Post.
7:40 | 09/29/14

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Transcript for June 1, 2005: Ted Koppel Interviews Ben Bradlee
A man who bank Woodward and Bernstein one of the few -- to know the identity of deep throat all these years. -- -- -- That's how All the President's Men portrayed the real man behind Woodward and Bernstein commandos. Who made sure they got it right. Then it's time to -- Was on the line -- -- actually 220 year old kids speaking to reporters with these huge story and and then. Back this. Tonight. The man who knew former Washington Post executive editor. Named Brett. Being a reporter in the United States can be dangerous I remember -- labor reporter many years ago a man by the name of Victor Rizzo -- so infuriated a bunch of monsters. That they -- a couple of -- one of whom threw acid in his face he was blinded but continued his work. There were reporters in the south during the years of the civil rights campaign won't beaten up by Clemens sympathizers. Even in the United States the job of the journalist is not without risk but over the last fifty years of so no American reporters have to fear his own government. Not in the sense of fearing for life and limit reached. But don't underestimate how frightening it must've been at times for the reporters and editors. Most especially of the Washington -- to were probing into the misdeeds. Various senior officials of the White House. Up to and including it turned out the president himself. Particularly in 1972. The outcome of -- came to be known as the Watergate scandal wasn't at all clear. Even Katharine Graham the publisher of the Washington Post was memorably -- crudely warned. That she would get hurt tit caught in a ringer -- the post didn't Banco off. To -- everlasting credit she did nothing of the car. Still an administration that could and did order the homes of reporters -- attempted. Ordered the IRS to conduct special audits of that tax returns. Was not a group to be -- Fort Worth. You don't threaten the political survival of the most powerful officials in the land. Without a few sweaty palms. Which brings us to the unfolding saga of deep throat now known to be mark felt. Then the number two man at the FBI. And the Washington post's executive editor of the time and -- freshly vindicated still serving as vice president at large at the post. And discussing -- hale and hearty at the age of 83. When were you when did your -- swift the most time. Well I think we went wrong and we were flat wrong on one story hidden. A total of almost 400 stories of Watergate. And it said that it was a story which said that the White House under Nixon and Haldeman had established. He 350000. Dollar slush fund. At that White House from dirty tricks. And that. The in -- did someone and then in my memory fails me here in the administration. Had so testified. To a grand jury. And we -- the hell out of -- -- cross page one and everybody and it made everybody tightened everybody units that don't mind is that true. And my first reaction the next morning was in -- For CBS. Thrusting a microphone and to Magruder his face and my group is -- saying is that story true this was Jeb Magruder was working with the -- right. And Jeb Magruder said no. And I was still in bed. -- shot out of bed and it could not be right. And we had a little attitude talked with -- Woodward and Bernstein lay there in that morning and they were -- they were appalled and -- -- And I said well would you -- fix it and they fixed it and what was wrong with the story was. At Magruder did not testify. To the existence of this fund to the grand jury he just he told the prosecutors. Didn't testify the grand jury. So by the time we got it straightened out it was two days I think and the slush -- -- turned out to be about 300 it was up to seven. And so we felt perfectly vindicated -- 48 analysts murdering an awfully long. So that was a really bad time to go back to the bird to the beginning of this story when you're ruining you hear you or someone against the metropolitan editor had had put these two. Catch twenty here's -- its. Added that's when when the kids work at the Washington Post as these two kids. -- there when this story this breaking came in and it was woodland birds. And I don't Norman I've never heard you talk about why you kept them on the store -- -- -- because -- -- right Ted I mean you know I and there are a lot of big hitters whose name you know and it will some of whom still are alive that. Wanted the story and these guys -- on a roll they would just -- had the town by the throat. Nobody else was touching them because of big shot reporters from. The times and there have been they've papers couldn't find the police station and and that Washington this was a police story predicted it there was -- police story for all worked long and I'm not for that long but they didn't they were what they were behind -- and they never caught up. They must -- been a time when you looked at those two kids. At that moment. And this I mean not only the reputation of the Washington focused. Both put the Republicans I mean this is -- -- after the White House for crying out there you know this may. Did you know at that time how -- and -- all retreat all. I didn't know at that time I knew that it it. -- the first real paid -- was did that it did we learned that. The money in the burglars pocket came from -- check. NN Miami bank that had been -- by Murray stands in his capacity. As senate committee chairman of the committee to reelect Richard Nixon in it came from and calling him -- Ken Dahlberg who was a Republican. -- cost somewhere and so it got to the White House and so so I showed -- by the hit you know. They looked funny those kids shouldn't -- bursting with his long head down it is -- guitar and it was -- You know chasing all the girls around the place but what -- was -- very serious young man at the age of ten I think. Put it twenty whatever the hell he was 28. He was a very purposeful soul and you didn't. It couldn't be dismissed lightly as at which point -- -- Bob Woodward come to your -- and you didn't know move in the name until after all of this was over for camera. Her premiered and did you know mark mark -- -- I don't know I don't know you know reputed nor the identity had him but he did was admitted they had Chris sort of -- and -- half which everybody thought to be my friend because he was. Bill that would woods' friend and and so but we got to -- and calling him my friend not a man. And so I knew that that -- generically what job be now.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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