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Encyclopedia > James Reston
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James "Scotty" Reston
James "Scotty" Reston

James Barrett Reston (3 November 190912 June 1995) (nicknamed "Scotty") was a prominent American journalist whose career spanned the mid 1930s to the early 1990s. Associated for many years with The New York Times, he became perhaps the most powerful, influential, and widely-read journalist of his era. Jump to: navigation, search Image File history File links James_Reston. ... Jump to: navigation, search November 3 is the 307th day of the year (308th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 58 days remaining. ... 1909 was a common year starting on Friday (see link for calendar). ... Jump to: navigation, search June 12 is the 163rd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (164th in leap years), with 202 days remaining. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1995 was a common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Jump to: navigation, search The New York Times is a newspaper published in New York City by Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. ...


Life

Reston was born in Clydebank, Scotland into a poor, devout Scottish-Presbyterian family, which emigrated to the United States in 1920. After working briefly for the Springfield, Ohio Daily News, he joined the Associated Press in 1934. He moved to the London bureau of the New York Times in 1939, but returned to in New York in 1940. In 1942, he took leave of absence to establish a US Office of War Information in London. Rejoining the Times in 1945, Reston was assigned to Washington, D.C., as national correspondent. In 1948, he was appointed diplomatic correspondent, followed by bureau chief and columnist in 1953. The old coat of arms for Clydebank, adopted in 1930 The red saltire on the white field is for the ancient province of Lennox and for the towns more recent historic links to Ireland which previously used the same flag. ... Timeline of Scottish history Caledonia List of not fully sovereign nations Subdivisions of Scotland National parks (Scotland) Traditional music of Scotland Flower of Scotland Wars of Scottish Independence National Trust for Scotland Historic houses in Scotland Castles in Scotland Museums in Scotland Abbeys and priories in Scotland Gardens in Scotland... Springfield is the county seat of Clark County in the State of Ohio. ... Associated Press logo This article concerns the news service. ... London is the capital city of the United Kingdom and of England. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1939 was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Jump to: navigation, search State nickname: The Empire State Other U.S. States Capital Albany Largest city New York City Governor George Pataki (R) Senators Charles Schumer (D) Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) Official languages None (English is de facto) Area 141,205 km² or 54,556 square miles (27th)  - Land... The United States Office of War Information (OWI) was a government agency created during World War II to consolidate government information services. ... Jump to: navigation, search Washington, D.C. is the capital city of the United States of America. ...


In subsequent years, Reston served as associate editor of the Times from 1964 to 1968, executive editor from 1968 to 1969, and vice president from 1969 to 1974. He wrote a nationally syndicated column from 1974 until 1987, when he became a senior columnist. During the Nixon administration, he was on the notorious Dean-Colson enemy list. Jump to: navigation, search Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) was the thirty-seventh President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. ...


Reston retired from the Times in 1989.


Reston interviewed many of the world's leaders and wrote extensively about the leading events and issues of his time. He interviewed President John F. Kennedy immediately after the 1961 Vienna Summit with Nikita Khrushchev on the heels of the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Jump to: navigation, search John Fitzgerald Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to as Jack Kennedy or JFK, was the 35th President of the United States (1961–1963). ... Jump to: navigation, search 1961 was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Jump to: navigation, search Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchof (Khrushchev) (Russian: Ники́та Серге́евич Хрущёв listen â–¶(?), April 17, 1894 â€“ September 11, 1971) was the leader of the Soviet Union after the death of Joseph Stalin. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Bay of Pigs (Spanish: Bahía de Cochinos) is a bay on the southern coast of Cuba. ...


Reston won the Pulitzer Prize twice, in 1945 and 1957. His books include Prelude to Victory (1942), The Artillery of the Press (1967), and Sketches in the Sand (1967). In 1991, he published a memoir, Deadline (1991) Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from the revision dated 2005-04-13, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ...


Legacy

During his lifetime, Reston was admired for his insight, fair-mindedness, balance, and wit, as well as his extensive contacts in the very highest echelons of power. Burt Barnes, writing in The Washington Post (12 August 1995) shortly after his death, observed that "Mr. Reston's work was required reading for top government officials, with whom he sometimes cultivated a professional symbiosis; he would be their sounding board and they would be his news sources." But former Times editor R.W. Apple also noted in The New York Times (12 August 1995), "Mr. Reston was forgiving of the frailties of soldiers, statesmen and party hacks -- too forgiving, some of his critics said, because he was too close to them." Reston's intimacy with those in power was seen to cloud his judgement and make him overly beholden to his sources. Jump to: navigation, search The Washington Post is the largest and oldest newspaper in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. ...


Reston had a particularly close relationship with Henry Kissinger and became one of his stalwart supporters in the media. At least eighteen conversations between the two are captured in transcripts released by the Department of State in response to FOIA requests. They document Reston volunteering to approach fellow Times columnist Anthony Lewis to ask him to moderate his anti-Kissinger texts and offering to plant a question in a press conference for the secretary. [1] [2]. Jump to: navigation, search Henry Kissinger Dr. Henry Alfred Kissinger (born May 27, 1923 as Heinz Alfred Kissinger) is a German-born American diplomat and statesman. ... The United States Department of State, often referred to as the State Department, is the Cabinet-level foreign affairs agency of the United States government, equivalent to foreign ministries in other countries. ... The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is the implementation of freedom of information legislation in the United States. ... Jump to: navigation, search Anthony Lewis (born March 27, 1927, New York City) is a prominent liberal intellectual, writing for the New York Times op-ed page and the New York Review of Books, among other publications. ...


A.G. Noornai, reviewing the 2002 biography of Reston, described how his closeness to Kissinger later damaged him further:

Nixon had been re-elected. Kissinger returned from Paris with a peace deal. Reston praised him highly. Nixon, however, decided to bomb North Vietnam to demonstrate his support for the South. Reston did a story on December 13, 1972, based on his talks with Kissinger citing obstruction by Saigon, which was true. But he did not, could not, report what Kissinger had suppressed from him -- he was privy to the decision to bomb Hanoi. That happened five days after the story was published. Kissinger now tried to distance himself from it and Reston was taken in by his claims. Kissinger "undoubtedly opposes" the bombing, he wrote and tried to explain Kissinger's compulsions. Reston's line had not gone unnoticed. The December 13 column was the last straw. It harmed his reputation. Reston had spiked the Pentagon reporter's story because it conflicted with his perceptions. The reporter was proved right. [3]

In his review of Reston's memoir, media pundit Eric Alterman wrote in The Columbia Journalism Review: Eric Alterman is a liberal American commentator, Professor of English at Brooklyn College and an author who is currently a political columnist for The Nation. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) is an American magazine for professional journalists published bimonthly by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism since 1961. ...

To read Reston on Henry Kissinger today is, as it was during the Nixon administration, a little embarrassing. (Reston once titled one of his columns "By Henry Kissinger with James Reston.") Nothing in his experience in Washington, Reston says over and over in these memoirs, "was ever quite as good or as bad as the fashionable opinion of the day," and he thinks of Kissinger as a prime example of this. [...] But in praising Kissinger, Reston is praising a man who regularly misled him, who wiretapped NSC staff members to determine who was leaking to reporters when they revealed his unconstitutional maneuverings, and who urged Nixon to prosecute Reston's newspaper for its constitutionally protected publication of the Pentagon Papers. During the infamous 1972 Christmas bombing of North Vietnam, Reston wrote of Kissinger that "he has said nothing in public about the bombing in North Vietnam, which he undoubtedly opposes... If the bombing goes on... Mr. Kissinger will be free to resign." The only problem with the interpretation, however, was that the bombings were Kissinger's idea. He misled Reston about his own position and then misled the White House staff about these conversations, finally admitting the truth when confronted with his phone records. [4]

For these and other reasons, critics such as radical economist Edward S. Herman have come to regard Reston as an "apologist for US foreign policy." [5]. Likewise, Noam Chomsky condemned his unwavering support for the 1965 US-backed coup in Indonesia, in which some half million people were killed, and the bombing the South Vietnamese countryside in 1967. [6]. Edward S. Herman is an economist and media analyst with a specialty in corporate and regulatory issues as well as political economy and the media. ... Jump to: navigation, search Avram Noam Chomsky, Ph. ... Jump to: navigation, search 1965 was a common year starting on Friday (link goes to calendar). ... A coup détat, or simply a coup, is the sudden overthrow of a government, usually done by a small group that just replaces the top power figures. ...


Reference

Scotty: James B. Reston and the Rise and Fall of American Journalism (2002), by John F. Stacks; ISBN 0-316-80985-3


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
James Reston - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (975 words)
Reston was born in Clydebank, Scotland into a poor, devout Scottish-Presbyterian family, which emigrated to the United States in 1920.
Reston was forgiving of the frailties of soldiers, statesmen and party hacks -- too forgiving, some of his critics said, because he was too close to them." Reston's intimacy with those in power was seen to cloud his judgement and make him overly beholden to his sources.
(Reston once titled one of his columns "By Henry Kissinger with James Reston.") Nothing in his experience in Washington, Reston says over and over in these memoirs, "was ever quite as good or as bad as the fashionable opinion of the day," and he thinks of Kissinger as a prime example of this.
November/December 2002 (2274 words)
Reston was joyfully married for half a century to the only woman he ever loved, and his story takes color from the personalities and events he covered and, to a degree scarcely imaginable today, influenced.
Reston had little to do with “the fall of American journalism.” Nor was he corrupted, as Stacks implies; he merely became comfortable with a contracting circle of voices, confusing America with the Washington scene to which he had become permanently affixed.
Reston’s account of Chappaquidick began, with chilling insensitivity, “Tragedy has again struck the Kennedy family.” The young woman who died in Ted Kennedy’s car, Mary Jo Kopechne, went unmentioned until the fourth paragraph of the story — an embarrassing oversight soon corrected by editors in New York.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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