The Post (2017) Movie Script

Take me back down where
cool water flows, y'all.
Let me remember things I love
Dan, your rifle.
All right, kill 'em all.
Stoppin' at the log
where catfish bite,
Who's the long hair?
That's Ellsberg--
works with Langsdale
at the Embassy.
He's observing.
I can hear the bullfrog
callin' me, oh
Wonder if my rope's still
hangin' to the tree
Let's move out.
Move out!
Love to kick my feet way
down the shallow water
Shoo fly, dragonfly,
get back t'mother
-Take good care.
-Good luck.
Skip it across Green River
this is Kilo-four-tango.
Fire mission:
Grid: Two-niner-eight-four-
Lay down.
Hang in there, buddy.
They're gonna fix you up.
We're gonna get you outta here,
don't you worry 'bout it.
Secretary would like a word,
wanna follow me?
Well, y-you can say what you
want to the President--
I've read every one of
Ellsberg's reports,
and I'm telling you,
it's just not the case.
Dan, you know Mr. Komer.
He's been discussing the
war with the President
and, well, his sense is
that we've made real progress
over the past year, but I've
been doing my own review
and it seems to me that
things have gotten worse.
But neither of us have
been in the field--
you have--you're
the one who knows
so, what do you say?
Are things better or worse?
Well, Mr. Secretary, what
I'm most impressed by
is how much things
are the same.
See, that's exactly
what I'm saying.
We put another 100,000
troops in the field,
things are no better?
To me, that seems like
things are actually worse.
Thank you, Dan.
Mr. Secretary!
Mr. Secretary, sir!
How was your trip, sir?
Good afternoon, gentlemen,
I don't have any uh,
prepared remarks but I'd be very
happy to take your questions
one at a time-- Jim?
Mr. Secretary, I'm wondering
if the trip left you optimistic
or pessimistic about our
prospects in this war
and our ability to win it?
Well, you asked whether I was
optimistic or pessimistic.
Today, I can tell you that military
progress over the past 12 months
has exceeded our expectations.
We're very encouraged by what
we're seeing in Vietnam.
In every respect,
we're making progress.
I'm especially pleased to have
Bob Komer along for the trip--
so he can see for himself
that we've been showing
great improvement in every
dimension of the war effort.
-Goodnight, Dan.
-Goodnight, Dan.
Night, guys.
You okay, Dan?
Yeah, yeah, I thought I'd, uh...
forgot something. I didn't.
Next left, on Melrose.
We have committed ourselves
to the cause of a just
and peaceful world order
through the United Nations.
May 3rd, 1950.
President Truman approved
ten million dollars in military aid
to Indochina.
America's leadership
and prestige depend
on how we use our power
in the interest of world peace.
I feel concerned
about paragraph six
which gives authority to control
general elections in Vietnam.
The United States,
as the world knows,
will never start a war.
May 11th, 1961.
President Kennedy orders
a full examination
by the Defense Department
of a possible commitment
of U.S. forces to Vietnam.
We are not about to send
American boys
nine or ten thousand
miles away from home
to do what Asian boys ought
to be doing for themselves.
President Johnson chose to
reaffirm the Kennedy policy's
military operation to be initiated
under close political control.
Can we just do the-
can we do the numbers one-
just one more time?
The company's selling
how many shares?
1.35 million shares.
And the price range is?
Uh, between-between $24.50 and
twenty-f--seven dollars per share.
Not exactly a huge difference.
For them but, you know, the bankers
always do fiddle with the prices--
but for us, that's over three
million dollars and that
represents over five years
salary for 25 good reporters.
Good. But why spend
in the newsroom?
You're far less profitable than
Gannett or Knight and Ridder.
Gannett and Knight and Ridder own
monopoly papers in smaller cities
and-and our readers are-are
leaders, you know?
they're-they're educated,
they demand more.
That's why we invest in
really good reporters.
-And so...
quality and-and profitability
do go hand in hand.
See? You know all this already.
Oh, God!
I don't know if I do.
-I should get to breakfast.
We don't want Paul
or Arthur too antsy at this
-at the meeting.
Good luck.
-And thank you, Fritz.
-See you downtown.
-I'll see you.
You think this is really necessary?
Oh, God, yes, darling.
You should hear how they
talk at these meetings.
It's as if it's in a foreign language.
No, I meant taking
the company public.
It seems we poor.
You know, barely solvent.
That's the newspaper business.
That's our newspaper business.
And we need the public
offering to stay in business--
and to continue to grow.
That's what Fritz says.
And he also says that the family
can maintain control if we...
Anyway, I'm just not sure your
grandfather would've wanted us
to give up any control at all.
-Mrs. Graham?
-Yes, this is she.
Please hold for
the Chief of Staff.
Who is it?
-Mrs. Graham, Bob Haldeman.
-Yes, hello.
We've got a bit of
an issue over here.
I'm so sorry.
-Sorry, sorry, sorry.
-Well, good morning.
I'm so late. I had to get all this...
stuff together and uh...
then I had an unexpected call.
Well, what is with the suitcase?
Ben, I told you...
this is the day, we're
meeting with the bankers
-Oh, yes, yes, right, right.
-today, you know this.
-Well, I bet you every dollar
-Thank you.
in my wallet that you are the
only person in that boardroom
who's read through
all their nonsense.
I'm probably the only
one who needs to.
What do you think
of Neil Sheehan?
Oh, gosh, his coverage of Vietnam
is just absolutely marvelous. Why?
You thinking of trying to
steal him from The Times?
I'm not sure we can afford him.
He, uh, he hasn't had a
piece in three months.
You think he's onto something?
Well, I saw Abe at a
dinner party last week
and he was looking
mighty, mighty smug.
Isn't he always?
-So who was it?
-Who was what?
Your unexpected call.
I buried the lead.
The White House.
-Haldeman rang.
It seems the President
has decided
not to provide Judith
with credentials
to cover the Nixon wedding.
-Oh, Jesus Christ.
They said we could
send another reporter.
Oh, yeah?
-Can't believe that.
-I know.
-I know, but don't...
But what?
I'm not sure I entirely
blame the President
-on this one, Dan.
Would you want Judith to cover
your daughter's wedding?
Well, my daughter's
only ten years old.
I think she burned her bridges when
she crashed Julie's reception.
-They're being punitive.
-Her pen is so sharp.
-Of course it's punitive.
-This is punitive.
Of course it's punitive.
She compared Tricia Nixon
to a vanilla ice cream cone.
-She did, yeah.
I mean, why would
her father want Judy
to cover his
daughter's wedding?
-Oh, come on.
-I just...
Are you sure we're striking
the right tone here, Dan?
Oh, we're gonna do this again?
No, the new Style
section, sometimes the
-stiletto party coverage
-I'm handling it.
-can be a little mean.
-I'm handling it.
-I'm looking for a new editor.
Are you? Because I know I've
talked to you about this before.
You are losing female readership,
you know, and I think
I think you might wanna
focus more on what women--
Katharine, keep your
finger out of my eye.
These breakfasts were
your idea, you know.
Ah, yes, yes, and you
are the publisher
and you are my boss and I uh...
I value the input but I-I-I heard
you the first three times.
You know, I just think that
there might be another way
that we could cool it
with the White House,
maybe we could just send
somebody else, you know?
-Nope, nope, nope.
-Because it is
I'm not gonna send
another reporter.
not hard news, Ben,
it's just a wedding.
It's not just a wedding, it's...
It's the wedding of the daughter of
the President of the United States.
-Let that girl have her day.
-We can't have them--
an administration dictating
to us our coverage
just because they don't like
what we print about
them in our newspaper.
I wonder if Abe cares
so passionately about
who covers the wedding
for his paper.
Well, I don't give a rat's ass
what Abe or anybody at the
New York Times cares about.
Not true, I give one rat's ass.
One retromingent rat's ass.
Tell 'em it's from Sheehan.
Don't walk.
It's from Sheehan.
Abe, here it is.
Okay, Roder's got Nixon
working on a second term.
Osles has something on G.I.s
buying heroin in Saigon, but
Ryder's got a rocket on the
FBI list of potential subversives.
Ah, save it for the afternoon,
I need Chal and Judith.
Is that real--a subversives list?
Oh, yeah, Hoover at
Justice keep a copy.
Thousands of names.
Geyelin heard the White House
is shutting Judith out.
Yeah, I'm workin' on that.
We think editorial
should run something.
I just heard somebody say
they're workin' on that.
Well, if the White House is
gonna take a stance like that,
don't you think we
should plant a flag?
Did you see Sheehan at the
Kissinger press conference?
What about the Al Haig thing?
No, Times sent the new kid.
New kid.
You think Sheehan's
onto something.
Well, Neil has been
known to disappear,
No, no, no, I'm telling you
he has something.
You want me to do
a little digging?
No, that's below your pay grade.
You uh, workin' on anything
important, chief?
Uh, no, Mr. Bradlee.
Well, everything we do is The Post.
Here's $40, I want you
to take the first train
up to New York
and go to the--
go to The Times building on 43rd-
don't tell 'em who you work for
but find a reporter
by the name of Sheehan.
Uh, Neil Sheehan?
Yeah, yeah, find out what
Neil Sheehan is workin' on.
Is that legal?
Well, what is it you think we
do here for a living, kid?
-Get a receipt for the tickets.
-Morning, Mrs. Graham.
Hello, morning everybody.
-Morning, nice to see you.
-Mrs. Graham.
-Morning, Arthur.
So, everyone's here.
-How are you--my Galahad?
Thank you.
And I used to be the only one
who brought his homework to class.
I think we're all here,
should we get started?
Didn't you crash the
wedding of Nixon's
other daughter to get a story?
Well, I did get a story, but
I didn't crash Julie's wedding.
No, no, just the
reception afterwards.
There is a distinction.
Not to the father of the bride,
he's paying for play.
I think the American people
are paying for play.
Great, let's do
a story about that.
-Yeah, let's--
-Judith should crash again.
I didn't crash Julie's wedding.
What would you call it, Judith?
Well, I would call it
depth reportage.
All right, come on,
come on, everybody.
How are we gonna cover
this Nixon-Cox wedding?
Uh, who else is gonna be there?
-Oh, here.
-Judith's got the guest list.
No, I mean the other press?
Well, The Times, The Sun, The Globe,
all the international papers.
All right.
So, we-we-we call them,
we call all of them and uh,
we say Nixon has shut us out
and then we ask them
for their notes.
Ben, there's no way in hell
anyone's gonna give me a fill.
No, they'll...i-it'll be an
act of solidarity--
they'll be defending
the first amendment.
We'll tell them that the only way
to protect the right to publish
is to publish.
I don't understand, you said
we'd set the price at $27.
No, we said there was a range.
and the demand on the
road show us soft.
Why not set it at $26?
Or 25 even?
Well, Paul, we feel that
setting the price at
24.50 would be
more prudent.
It's just a couple of bucks.
It's not just a couple of bucks,
it's 1.35 million shares...
so, it is...
Th-Three million.
Over three million dollars
less--that's a lot to a newspaper.
I mean, how many
reporters is that?
-It's-It's twenty-five--
-Let's not get bogged down...
-It has to be quite a few.
-At least a dozen. Fritz?
It's uh, twenty-five reporters--
Twenty-five reporters?
Twenty-five reporters.
Gentlemen, we know it's not ideal,
but a few of our investors balked
at the nature of the company.
They don't like newspapers?
They like Gannett
and Knight and Ridder
but...frankly they're
concerned about
your ability to turn
a serious profit.
Gannett and Knight and Ridder
own monopoly papers
in smaller markets
-that's why they're more profitable.
The whole point of the
offering is to grow--
while investing in the
quality of the paper.
Kay and I have talked
a great deal about this.
And we believe that
improving quality
will naturally lead
to greater profitability.
-More than unfortunate.
Does this happen all the time?
Bankers lowering the price
for their institutional investors?
Fritz, isn't this what we discussed?
I think the family should
consider giving up some control--
maybe another board seat.
Absolutely not.
This isn't a surprise, Fritz--
ever since Phil's accident.
No offense, Kay,
it's unfortunate but...
The buyers are obviously skittish
about having a woman in charge
and it's-it's not like
it's an easy sell--
it's a local paper with modest
margins, modest ambitions.
I think Mr. Bradlee would take
issue with that characterization.
Sure, she pads his budget.
Amelia, call my office, tell them I'm
gonna miss my lunch at Occidental.
Of course, Mr. Parsons.
Another dozen
reporters for what?
To nip at the heels of The Times?
So we can pretend like we're even
remotely in the same league?
Make it a 5:00 drink at
The Jefferson.
Arthur, Kay was right,
Lazard is just trying to
-Come on.
-cut a better deal by squeezing us.
-Why do you think that is?
-Because they're bankers
which is why they
want more control.
They want assurances that she's
not gonna squander it all.
I mean, come on.
Fritz, Kay throws a great party,
but her father gave the
paper to her husband.
The only reason she's running
things is because he-because...
Phil died.
Don't get me wrong, I think
she is a lovely woman.
But she got rid of Al Friendly
and brought in a pirate
who does nothing but
bleed our margins.
I mean, you can't be surprised
that the buyers are concerned
that she doesn't have the resolve
to turn a serious profit.
Kay, it's your decision.
But in my opinion,
if you want this to be more
than a little family paper,
it has to be more than
a little family business.
Thank you, Arthur,
for your frankness.
All right.
-We're set?
-All set, Mr. Parsons.
It wasn't an accident.
Phil's suicide--I don't know why
people insist on calling
it an accident.
Is it to make them feel better?
Or do they think they're...
being kind? I don't know.
I don't know.
So, do you think I should
give up more seats on the board?
Of course not.
We're going to be fine.
This passage...
in the prospectus that I--
I read it earlier today.
The uh, oh, yes...
"In the unlikely
instance of disaster
"or catastrophic event
in the week
"following the initial
public offering,
"Lazard Frres & Co. retains
full right to cancel the issue."
It's boiler plate, Kay.
It's standard
contractual language.
Uh...but, so, that bankers
could pull out?
Only if there's a true disaster.
Ben gets hit by a truck...
the world runs out
of newspaper ink...
the...truck goes around the
block and hits Ben again...
You think one of
those is possible.
I don't but, you know.
The Nixon White House is
nothing if not vindictive.
Just this morning,
they barred us from covering
Tricia Nixon's wedding.
Somehow, I doubt that will rise
to the level of catastrophe.
No, probably not--although,
when Ben sets his
mind to plunder,
it's not hard to imagine
something more serious.
Catastrophic events...
do occur, you know.
Yeah, but the right to
cancel is only for a week.
A week from the public offering.
Seven days after they ring
that bell on Tuesday,
the deal is done.
It's gonna be fine, Kay.
Do you know what floor
the newsroom's on?
Uh, no, no, no,
six, yeah, six.
You think that he's
not beneath Pakistan?
Well, five million refugees
could destabilize West Bengal.
So, Lindsay's lowering
the boom tomorrow.
How's he gonna cut
a hundred million?
There's gonna be some blood on
the floor of a greasy mansion.
I heard the mayors gave
it to Nixon in Philly.
Yeah, I told you those
guys are violent.
Take a look at this.
You guys see that piece
on the hijacking?
You think six pages is enough?
We got three columns on
the front page. I'll take it.
-On the flight?
-The flight.
Can I help you, mac?
Just delivering a package
to Mr. Mietson.
Maston, I'll see that he gets it.
I knew a couple
whose yacht was shipwrecked
in the South Pacific.
Hold on, quiet, quiet.
I know a couple whose yacht was
shipwrecked in the South Pacific.
It looks bleak, so the man asks,
"Does the will take
care of the kids?"
his wife nods.
"What about your mother?"
Yes. Okay.
"Did we donate to Nixon?"
His wife shakes her head.
"Did we pledge or give?"
"We pledged."
"Thank God!", shouts the man.
"Nixon'll find us."
"We're saved!"
Speaking of Nixon,
I just talked to Kissinger
who was going on about the
end of the China embargo.
He's convinced it's a rather
clever geo-political move.
Oh, I think this is
our cue, ladies.
Someone at this
table of luminaries
must have an idea
what they're up to.
I wonder what his buddy
Joe McCarthy would say.
The new Style section did a
lovely piece on Lawrence Durrell.
Well, it's about time
Style had a good piece.
I think it's a bit improved.
I hear he's at work on
another series of novels.
I hear he's at work on
finding a fourth wife.
I will say, he's one of the
few individuals who could
probably cozy up
to communist China
without fear of
major political cost.
Ah, but is Nixon that smart?
He never laughed at one of my jokes.
Oh, Kay, I don't
know how you do it.
I don't know how you keep
up with it over here--
Have this day job.
You need to read her book.
Kay, can I have--just a word?
Did you get a chance
to read his--
Everything all right?
-Marg okay?
-Yeah, she's- she's fine.
The procedure went very well.
Oh, good, I've
been meaning to...
I, uh...
I wanted to tell you and I want
you to hear from me first.
There's an article about me
coming out in
The Times tomorrow.
It's not flattering.
Now you know me
better than that.
Three days and three nights
and not a word from you.
Well, I've been very busy.
For all I knew, you were
lying in the gutter somewhere
with a knife in your back.
Lying in the gutter?
Now, look, sweetheart, I'll
tell ya what happened.
I was in Birmingham.
Hello, Ben.
Hello, Katharine.
I'm sorry to bother you
so late, but listen.
Were you able to make any
headway with Mr. Sheehan?
No, no, no.
I haven't.
I just had an odd conversation
with Bob McNamara.
And...I think The Times may
have a big story tomorrow.
Ah, dammit.
You know, he wouldn't
give me any details, but
Bob said it was quite...
detrimental to him that--
We got 'em.
We got 'em.
-Yeah, quite good.
-The happy couple?
-Hey! Chief!
-Mr. Bradlee.
So, did you track down Sheehan?
No, but I saw a mock up
of tomorrow's front page.
There's a big gap.
Nothing there but the name.
-Give us three.
-Here you go, here you go, here.
Here, here, here, here.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thanks, got it.
General Haig, sir.
-Hi, Al.
-Yes, sir.
How, uh, what about
the casualties list--
you got that figure yet?
No, sir, but I think it's
gonna be quite low, uh...
Fine. Okay.
Nothing else
of interest in the world?
Yes, sir, very
significant this uh,
goddamn New York Times expos of
the most highly-classified
documents of the war.
You mean that-that was
leaked out of the Pentagon?
The-the whole study that
was done for McNamara.
This is a devastating,
uh, security breach of
of the greatest
magnitude of anything
-I've ever seen
Well, what, uh, what's being
done about it, then?
-Did we know this was coming out?
No, we did not, sir.
I have Dr. Kissinger.
Uh, Henry, that thing to
me is just unconscionable--
this is treasonable action
on the part of the
bastards that put it out.
I'm absolutely certain
that this violates all
sorts of security...laws--
People have got to be put to the
torch for this sort of thing.
McNamara knew we
couldn't win in '65--
that's six goddamn years ago.
Well, at least we
got the wedding.
Is anybody else tired or reading
the news instead of reporting it?
Do we have any leads?
There's a guy Phil
and I know in Boston
who worked at Defense when
McNamara commissioned the study.
All right, call him.
Anybody else?
So that's it?
My best goddamn lead is
coming from editorial?
We are suckin' high tit
in our own backyard.
Ben, come on, it's one story.
No, it's 7,000 pages
detailing how the White House
has been lying about the
Vietnam war for 30 years.
It's Truman and
Eisenhower and...
LBJ lying--lying about
Vietnam--and you think
that's one story?
Let's do our jobs.
Find those pages.
Ben, uh...
I might...have something...
Well, let me know when
it's a little less...wishy-washy.
I'm gonna go chase
down a lead of my own.
Why don't you cut your bangs?
-Just a little bit.
I'm right in the middle.
It's a bit hard to read,
isn't it?
Harder for you, I imagine.
These were your
And Kennedy and Johnson.
Jack and Lyndon were
your father's friends.
You flew down to Texas with Lyndon
the weekend after his convention.
Well, that's your fault, you
wanted to see his helicopter.
And the instant he saw you,
he invited you to the ranch.
Oh, well, he just wanted
the paper to endorse--
Yes, but my point is, you had
Steve and Bill waiting at home
-who had houseguests
-I know.
waiting at the farm.
You had nothing but dirty
clothes in your suitcase.
How do you know what
I had in my suitcase?
Jumped on Air Force Once,
spent the weekend--
-I did not jump, you and
-swimming and
Livvie Pearce and
said "I had to go!"
speedboating with
Lyndon and Lady Bird.
It's hard to say...
no to the President
of the United States.
Were you expecting someone?
At this hour?
I hope I'm not too early.
Not at all, must be urgent.
Where's your sister?
It's mine too, darling.
Where's your sister?
Let's go find her.
I trust you saw
the New York Times.
The study--the-the one
they're working off
that was commissioned
by McNamara.
And if he commissioned it,
he might have a copy.
I need to tell you that
finding a source
is like finding a
needle in a haystack.
I don't need the metaphor.
I haven't been a
writer for a while
so that old clich--
that was the best comparison
I could come up with.
I need a copy
of that study, Kay.
Give her the ball, Ben.
-Oh, here you go.
-Thank you.
You know, Ben,
as much as I do relish
a good investigative assignment,
-Bob McNamara's an old friend.
He's going through a lot in
his life right now. I just--
He's probably said
all he wants to say.
Why, do you think?
Why is he talking to you?
Well, I just told you
he's my friend, and
Well, is he talking
to any other friends?
I'm not sure I appreciate the
implication of what you just--
McNamara is talking to you
-because you are the publisher
-That's not true!
-of The Washington Post.
-That is not why.
-Because he wants you
to bail him out.
-No, there's no ulterior--
-Because he wants you on his side.
No, Ben, that's not my role.
You know that.
I wouldn't presume to tell
you how to write about him.
Just as I wouldn't
take it upon myself
to tell him
he should hand over
a classified study,
which would be a crime,
by the way,
just so he can serve
as your source.
Our source, Katharine.
No, I--no.
I'm not. I'm not going to
ask Bob for the study.
I get it, you have a
relationship with Bob McNamara.
But don't you think you
have an obligation as well
to the paper and to the public?
Let me ask you something.
Was that how you
felt when you were
palling around
with Jack Kennedy?
Where was your sense
of duty then?
I don't recall you pushing him
particularly hard on anything.
I pushed Jack when I had to--
I never pulled any punches.
I-Is that right?
'Cause you used to dine at the
White House once a week.
All the trips to Camp David.
Oh, and that drunken birthday
cruise on the Sequoia
you told me about.
Hard to believe you would've
gotten all those invitations
if you didn't
pull a few punches.
Street protests broke out
today across the country
after the publication
of more excerpts
of a classified Department
of Defense study
in The New York Times.
The study commissioned by former
Secretary of Defense
Robert McNamara
has ignited further debate
over the ongoing
war in Vietnam.
As it makes clear that
Kennedy and Johnson
as well as
Eisenhower and Truman
deeply misled the
country on Vietnam
The bombshell series has
appeared for the last two days
in The New York Times.
We don't want
your stinkin' war!
Ive stumbled on the side
of twelve misty mountains
Ive walked and Ive crawled
on six crooked highways
And my brother Mario said,
"There is a time when the operation
of the machine becomes so odious
"that you've got to put
your body upon the gears
"and upon the wheels
and upon the levers
"and you've got to make it stop!"
One, two, three, four!
We don't want
your stinkin' war!
One, two, three, four!
So that the President
doesn't have to admit something
the entire world already knows.
You dinner with Mr. and Mrs.
Rosenthal's at 7:00 in the Oak Room.
And then I'll meet you tomorrow
morning in the lobby at 8:00
so you'll have plenty of time to
get Downtown before the offering,
-And the...
-and the breakfast.
-It's Harry Rowan.
Hey, um...
Let me call you back from
outside the newsroom.
Excuse me.
Are you important?
I'm a general standard reporter.
Uh, I think I got something.
Be my guest.
And they are the
source of the story.
Every time I read The New
York Times above the fold--
-Mr. Bradlee?
I feel like somebody's shoving
a hot poker up my ass.
I think I got something.
Where'd you get these?
Somebody left them on my desk.
None was secretly
suggesting that McNamara
did provoke the North so we'd
have grounds for escalation.
Yeah, it was in The Times
article. It was a good piece.
You should check it out.
-It was well--
-Jesus Christ.
Give it to someone who can
type 91 words a minute.
-and have it proofed, okay?
I think we got something.
What is it?
Jesus Christ.
Shit. Are these part of the
pages of the McNamara study?
Where did you get these?
Somebody left them on my desk.
On your desk?
I didn't--i-it was a woman.
-What a woman?
-We got over a
-hundred pages of the McNamara
-What woman?
-study here.
-She was a hippie woman,
she had one of those, uh,
-Hey, Debbie, give me Bagdikian.
-Don't know what they're called
-but it's one of those skirts
-He's uh,
-that looks like your uh,
-He's out, he just went
-swirling in colors.
-I don't--
-Probably between 5'4 and 5'6.
Well, these are the real thing.
Oh, she's uh,
-We are back in the ballgame.
-It was a tie-died, sir.
It was a tie-died skirt.
This is gonna be the
front page of tomorrow's
paper. Um...
Give it to uh...
give it to Marder,
it's his lucky day.
My God, the fun.
Rand Corporation.
Harry Rowan, please.
This is Harry.
Harry, it's Ben Bagdikian.
You think someone's
bugging your phone?
I think someone might
be bugging yours.
Why would someone
bug my phone?
If I thought the McNamara
study had leaked from Rand,
I'd bug the phone of
the president of Rand.
It's a DOD study.
A copy of which was sent
to Rand for safekeeping.
Two copies,
if I'm not mistaken.
Jesus Christ, Ben, that
leak didn't come from us.
You sure about that?
Look, in my experience,
guys who want stuff like this out
there and have the guts to do it,
they're a particular type--
they've got conscience
and conviction
but they've also got
Now, there's a guy
that we both know.
Okay? He was there
the same time as I was.
He left right after.
You know who I'm
talkin' about, right?
Isn't he the first
guy you thought of
when you saw the
article in The Times?
Okay, look, I gotta go.
Mr. and Mrs. Rosenthal.
-Oh, yes, I see.
-You're welcome.
I'm just going to
apologize in advance.
Great to see you.
I'm no fun at all, Abe.
-I'm just so nervous about
tomorrow at the Stock Exchange,
I have to make a big speech...
-No, no, no, no.
-I'm so happy for you.
No, going public is a
good move for The Post.
Maybe you can even
think about expanding,
try to be more of
a national paper.
I wish Abe would
let me buy shares.
Ah, that's against
company policy, but
if your nervous and
need distraction, I--
I do happen to have a
copy of today's Times.
Unless you read it already.
You awful man,
you really are.
Can we get you
something to drink?
Bundy argues for
sustained bombing.
He thinks it'll turn the tide.
This is February of '65.
Yeah, 'cause by April,
they realize it's not gonna cut it.
And LBJ sends two battalions.
-Great stuff.
-And get this--
He changes the mission
from base security
-to active combat.
-My God.
It's a huge shift.
He's widening the war.
But he insists on secrecy.
The American people
are not to be told.
Okay, so this is the real deal.
So how long till you
can write it up?
I can have it for Thursday.
Well, what if we pretend you
were a poet and not a novelist?
I...I suppose I could pull something
together by tomorrow night.
Okay, we can run
it on Wednesday.
Just go through all
the research you want
but so help me God if we
don't have these pages
by tomorrow night,
we might as well...
Too late.
-The Times already has it.
Well of course they have it.
"President Johnson decided
on April 1st, 1965
-"that American ground forces
-Of course The Times have it.
-"were taking offensive
-written by Neil Sheehan.
"because a month of bombing--"
You know, Sheehan's a bastard--
he's been a bastard for years.
Mr. President, the Attorney
General's called a couple of times
about these New
York Times stories.
You mean to prosecute
The Times?
Hell, my view is to prosecute
the goddamn pricks
that gave it to him.
If you can find out
who that is.
Yeah, I know.
I mean, could The
Times be prosecuted?
Apparently so.
As far as The Times
is concerned,
hell, they're our enemies,
I think we just ought to do it.
Son of a bitch.
Abe Rosenthal.
Oh, good evening.
Your table is
right over there, sir.
On no uncertain terms
not to publish.
Only after Scotty Redstein
threatened to publish
in the Vineyard Gazette
did Punch decide to print.
Wouldn't have had
quite the same impact.
We've been asked
to refrain from
further publication
by the Attorney General.
Nixon's taking us to court?
Kay, I'm sorry, I uh...
Oh, no.
Why don't I go get the check?
No, sit tight, don't argue with,
be right back.
Mr. Rosenthal had to
leave on business.
Certainly, we'll put it on his tab.
No, no, I'll take the bill, but
could I trouble you
to use your telephone?
But of course, madame.
There's a fella
I overlap with at Rand
he was a bit of a showboat
but smart.
And he worked for McNamara
and he had opinions
on the decision-making
that went into Vietnam.
-Word is
he doved
pretty hard.
Would he have access
to the study?
Pretty sure Rand had a copy.
No shit. All right, well,
can you find him?
Thought maybe I'd try.
I've got Mrs.
Graham on the line.
Hey, listen, I've--
-I've got tomorrow's headlines.
Christ, okay, again.
John Mitchell
contacted The Times,
seems the President's going
to seek an injunction
No shit!
This means we're in
the goddamn ballgame.
Because if The Times
get shut down...
If they get shut down,
there is no ballgame.
Ballgame's over.
But Katharine, any-anybody
would kill to have a crack at this.
Well, sure, but not if
it means breaking the law.
If a federal judge stops
The Times from publishing,
well, I don't see how
we could publish--
even if we could get
hold of a copy.
You have something?
Okay, so then there's nothing
to talk about, really.
No. Nothing to talk
about at all, but uh...
But thank you for the tip,
Mrs. uh, Graham.
What are you still doing here?
-How are you, Kay?
-Hi, everyone. Good to see you.
Yeah, I'm looking for Dan Ellsberg.
He doesn't work here anymore.
Do you know where he is now?
No, I don't. Who's this?
Thank you.
And it is my great privilege
to welcome
The Washington Post Company
to the
American Stock Exchange!
More than a privilege,
Mrs. Graham,
this is a real honor.
Hello, this is John's.
Yeah, I'm looking
for Dan Ellsberg.
You got the wrong number.
Go check off this day.
Thank you all for helping make
The Washington Post
a more robust company.
Center for
International Studies.
Yeah, I'm looking
for Dan Ellsberg.
He's not here.
But he still works there?
Can I take a message?
Uh, tell him
Ben Bagdikian called.
Guys, why don't we get
together for a photograph?
That's a good idea.
Here we go.
Smile, Kay!
What is it?
You just bought a
share of The Post!
I know, I'm so happy!
1.35 million shares
at 24.50 a share.
I believe this will not
only make The Post solvent,
but stronger than
it ever has been.
-To The Post!
-The Post!
He said to call
from a secure phone.
I hear Kennedy said Phil Graham
was the smartest man he ever met.
For Kay's father to hand her
husband the company,
it says something about the guy.
You thought it said
something about the time.
-Turn it up.
-Good evening.
The New York Times
late today was barred
at least until Saturday
from publishing any more
classified documents
dealing with the
cause and conduct
of the Vietnam war.
The Times, true to its word,
said it would abide by the
decision of federal judge
Murray Gurfein
but will resist a
permanent injunction
at a hearing Friday.
The Nixon administration
had charged
that the final two parts
of The Times' series
would result in
irreparable injury to the
national defense.
Hell, why bother
fighting the communists?
I think Jefferson just
rolled over in his grave.
Have the courts ever stopped a
paper from publishing before?
Not in the history of the Republic.
Good thing we're not
part of this mess.
I'd give my left one
to be in this mess.
There's our front page lead.
Tomorrow, Chal, that's yours.
All right.
Party's over, let's uh,
get back to work, germs. a news conference to
discuss the Pentagon papers...
Hi, it's uh, Ben.
Oh, um,
I'm trying to get hold of
a fella I used to know.
Hold-Hold on.
-Was it 4580, 61--?
-Call from another phone.
Uh, 617
-Yeah, I'm lookin' for--
-Yeah. Hey, Ben, it's Dan.
It's good to hear your voice.
Yeah, it's been a while.
-Who is it?
-It's Ben.
The study had 47 volumes.
I slipped out a
couple at a time,
took me months
to copy it all.
What the hell?
Well, we were all
former government guys.
Top clearance, all that.
McNamara wanted academics
to have the chance
to examine
what had happened.
He would say to us, "Let the
chips fall where they may."
Brave man.
Well, I think guilt was a
bigger motivator than courage.
McNamara didn't lie
as well as the rest.
But I-I don't think he
saw what was coming,
what we'd find, but it didn't
take him long to figure out--
well, for us all to figure out.
If the public ever
saw these papers,
they would turn
against the war.
Covert ops, guaranteed debt,
rigged elections,
it's all in there.
Ike, Kennedy, Johnson--
They violated the
Geneva Convention,
and they lied to Congress
and they lied to the public.
They knew we couldn't win
and still sent boys to die.
What about Nixon?
He's just carrying on
like all the others.
Too afraid to be the one who
loses the war on his watch.
Someone said this at
some point about
why we stayed
when we knew we were losing.
Ten percent was to help
the South Vietnamese.
Twenty percent was to
hold back the commies.
Seventy percent was to avoid
the humiliation
of an American defeat.
Seventy percent
of those boys
just to avoid being humiliated?
That stuck with me.
They're gonna come
after you, you know?
And I gotta be honest,
the bread crumbs weren't
too hard to follow.
I know.
They're gonna lock you up, Dan.,
Wouldn't you go to
prison to stop this war?
Theoretically, sure.
You are gonna publish
these documents?
Even with the injunction.
Well, then, it's not so
theoretical then, is it?
I'm gonna go do some
work in the studio.
My day was great,
thanks for asking.
That picture makes me sad.
Me too.
I'm in Boston.
I'm gonna need two seats.
I'm gonna need to buy
two seats on the first
flight out tomorrow--
probably first class.
No shit, you have them.
Well, you just get your
ass back here, and uh...
Come straight to the house.
Forget Chal and Meg
and the others,
I don't want the whole newsroom
knowing about this yet.
I gotta go.
Didn't you just invite
a bunch of people over?
Yeah, they'll uh,
they'll show up
sometime tomorrow.
When, sometime tomorrow?
Is this a breakfast thing?
-or a lunch thing?
-Don't know. Don't know.
Do you need me to get things?
Yeah, we'll figure it all out.
Okay, well, where are you going?
-You going to the newsroom?
-No. Love you, bear.
I got a cake, I hope it's okay?
Oh, sure, as long as
nobody counts the candles.
I'm sorry to barge in again.
Maybe I should give you a key.
Uh, I'm not here to
crash your party.
What's up?
Well, I could use a minute.
So, can I ask you a
hypothetical question?
Oh, dear, I don't like
hypothetical questions.
Well, I don't think you're gonna
like the real one, either.
Do you have the papers?
Not yet.
Oh, gosh, oh, gosh,
because you know the-the uh
position that would put me in.
You know, we have language
in the prospectus...
Yeah, I know, I know
-that the bankers can change
-Which, which
their mind, it's-and I know
what is at stake.
You know,
the only couple I knew that
both Kennedy and LBJ
wanted to socialize with
was you and your husband.
And you own the damn paper.
It's just the way things worked.
Politicians and the press,
they trusted each other
so they could go to the same
dinner party and drink cocktails
and tell jokes
while there was a war
-raging in Vietnam.
-Ben, I don't know what
what we're talking about.
I'm not protecting Lyndon.
No, you got his former
Secretary of Defense
Robert McNamara,
the man who commissioned
-this study--he's one of about
-I'm not protecting him.
-a dozen party guests
-I'm not protecting
-out on your patio.
-any of them. I'm
protecting the paper.
Yeah, well, I wasn't a
stooge for Jack Kennedy.
The night he was assassinated,
Tony and I were down
at the Naval Hospital
so we would be there,
meet Jackie when she landed.
She was bringing Jack's body
back on the plane from Dallas
and she walked into the room.
She was still wearing
that pink suit
with Jack's blood all over.
She fell into Tony's arms
and they held each other for
quite a long time and...
And then Jackie looked at me
and said, "None of this--
"none of what you see,
none of what I say
"is ever going to be
in your newspaper, Ben."
And that just about broke
my heart, I, uh...
I never...
I never thought of
Jack as a source.
I thought of him as a friend. And--
And that was my mistake.
And it was something that
Jack knew all along.
We can't be both,
we have to choose.
And uh...
And that's the point.
The days of us smoking
cigars together
down on Pennsylvania Avenue
were over.
Your friend McNamara's study
proves that.
The way they lied.
The way they lied.
Those days have to be over.
We have to be the check
on their power.
If we don't hold
them accountable,
then, my God, who will?
Well, I've never
smoked a cigar.
And I have no problem
holding Lyndon or Jack or
Bob or any of them accountable.
We can't hold them accountable
if we don't have a newspaper.
When I get my hands
on that study,
what are you going to do,
Mrs. Graham?
Oh, um...
Happy birthday, by the way.
Oh, that's not what I heard.
-Club soda.
-Yes, thank you.
I'm gonna need to put your seat
in a full upright position
-before take-off.
-Oh, yeah.
Oh, must be precious cargo.'s just...
government secrets.
Please fasten you seatbelt.
-You know why we're here?
-Beats me.
-Hi, Marina.
-Do you want lemonade?
-A little early for me.
Ah, loosen up, I'm buying.
What kind of lemonade
you have there?
Uh, it's the one
with the lemons in it.
There you go.
Bill, help me out.
Grab my briefcase.
-Is that...?
It's not the full report,
but it's over 4,000 pages of it.
Huh, are these in order?
I don't think so.
There are no page numbers.
Yeah, that's where the
top secret stamps were.
My source had to cut 'em off.
We're supposed
to retire on Friday.
Ben, how are we supposed to
comb through 4,000 pages--
They're not even
loosely organized.
The Times had three months.
There's no way we
get this amount...
Yeah, he's right,
we got less than eight hours.
We get two per city,
then we have ten.
Hey, hey, hey, for the last six
years we've been playing catch up.
And now thanks to the President
of the United States
who, by the way, is taking a shit
all over the First Amendment,
we have the goods.
We don't have any competition.
There's dozens of
stories in here.
The Times has barely
scratched the surface.
We have ten hours till
the deadline, so,
we dig in.
I think this memo's
from McNamara.
Uh "It is my belief
that there should be
a three or four week
pause in bombing--"
Wait, wait, wait, I saw the
other half of that memo.
Uh, anyone have the back half
of a cable from Dulles in '54?
I thought I saw one from July.
Yeah, here it is, uh, "The
reasons for this belief
"are that we must
lay a foundation
"in the mind of the
American public."
Th-Th-Th-That's it!
So Johnson wasn't
trying to make peace,
he was just manipulating
the public?
Eyes out for a suspension
in bombing from when?
'65 to '68.
What about a memo
from Eisenhower's
special committee in Indochina?
Uh, Meg read a
part of one to me.
-Anybody see a mention
-of the Rand Vietcong study?
-Yeah, I think this might be
from your Rand study,
"VC are deeply committed."
"South Vietnam is a lost cause."
Whoa! There you go!
-Meg, Meg, Meg, I need the uh...
-I put it on the shelf.
A couple of piles.
We're gettin' somewhere.
All right, it's 1:30, at
4:00 story conference.
Can I interest anyone
in some lemonade?
Does it have vodka in it?
-I don't, I don't
-put vodka in my lemonade.
-go easy on the kid.
Why not?
-How much, sweetheart?
-A quarter.
It's fifty cents.
-It's going up!
Mr. Bradlee. Roger Clark.
Oh, you're Roger Clark.
Nice to meet you in person. are our
senior legal counsel.
Yes, we've-we've
spoken on the phone.
My voice should sound familiar.
When did you finish law school?
-I graduated--
-Rhetorical question.
-You know,
the guy we had before you
is now Secretary of State?
I did not know that.
A little joke, perhaps
not the time--
What exactly can
I help you with?
So, why would the CIA director
send a memo on work orders?
'Cause they weren't
calling it a war yet.
Okay, I've got
turkey with mustard,
-roast beef with horseradish.
-Oh, I'll take it.
Howard, come look at this.
-Chal, you've gotta see this--
-Take a napkin.
it's a full analysis of McNamara's
changing view of the war.
Does it say anything
about why...?
So, we knew they were
gonna assassinate Diem.
Yeah, and they did
nothing to stop it.
I think I got something on
McNamara on the fireplace--
the other fireplace.
Murray, where's the
back half of this one?
Tell me these aren't the
classified documents
from the McNamara study.
-4,000 pages of it.
I need to use a phone.
There's uh, one in the other room.
-Is that it?
-This is it, this is it.
This is gonna happen.
Hi, thanks for
letting me drop by.
-Marg still napping?
-Yeah, yeah.
Do you mind if we
talk in the center?
-Just so I can hear her.
-No, no
-She wakes...
-Of course not.
I can't stay long, I've got a
-big event at the house later.
-I guess you've
read everything now.
Yes, I have, I have. Yes.
And I went over it
again this morning.
All of it.
And I just...
Forgive me, Bob, I...
know you're dealing
with so much, but
but it's just, it's so hard to, um,
try to make sense of why
of how you could
have done all these things.
How you could
just lie to us all.
Well... i-it's easy
for the papers to
characterize us
as liars, we were just
trying to push back--
Yeah, but you let it go on,
and on, and--
My son is home now
and safe--Thank God.
But you watched him go.
You knew we couldn't
win over there
for years and years and years,
and yet you let me...
You let so many of our
friends send our boys off...
Kay, we were doing
the best we could.
It was domino theory,
And eventually, we felt that
military pressure
was the only thing that was gonna
drive Ho Chi Minh to the table.
Our decision-making
process was--
It was flawed. That's
what your study said.
I do believe
that you were trying
to do your best.
And I know how
difficult it can be
to make choices that will...
That's kind of you.
Oh, well, what comes next
might not be so kind.
You have the papers?
Let's just say
I may have
a big decision to make.
They will argue it's a violation
of the Espionage Act.
That is a felony, Ben.
That's only-only if the
documents we print
could damage the United States.
There's a federal
judge in New York
who seems to think
that they could.
Well, I've got six seasoned
journalists in the next room
who've been reporting on this
war for the last ten years.
And I'll lay odds that
they have a better idea
of what could damage
the United States
than some judge
who is just now
wading in this territory
for the first time.
"Wading", is that a metaphor
for Vietnam?
Okay, Ben, look, we know
your reporters are talented.
But The New York Times
spent three months
going over these documents.
You've got what--seven hours now
until the paper goes to press?
Can you honestly tell me
that that is enough time
to make sure not a single
military plan, not a single
U.S. soldier,
not a single American life
will be put in harm's way,
that this will do no damage to the
United States if you publish?
You're sure about that?
That's why I called you guys.
Look, Kay, I know why
The Times ran the story.
But you need to understand,
the study was for posterity.
It was written for academics
in the future and right now, we're
still in the middle of the war.
The papers can't be objective.
I suppose the public
has a right to know.
But I would prefer
that the study not be
made widely available
until it can be read
with some perspective.
-You understand.
We've been through
a lot, haven't we?
You and Marg.
You were there for me.
At the lowest point of my life.
You helped me.
You've selected
my entire board.
You're my most trusted advisor.
My dear friend.
But my feelings
about that
and about you can't
uh, be part of this
decision to publish or not.
I'm here asking
your advice, Bob,
not your permission.
then as one of your
most trusted advisors,
and someone who knows how much
you care about this company,
I'm worried, Kay.
You know, I worked in
Washington for ten years
I've seen these people
up close.
Bobby and Lyndon,
they were tough customers.
But Nixon is different.
He's got some real bad
people around him.
And if you publish, he'll
get the very worst of them
the Colsons, and the Ehrlichmans
and he'll crush you.
I know, he's just awful, but I--
He's a--Nixon's a son of a bitch!
He hates you, he hates Ben.
He's wanted to ruin
the paper for years.
And you will not get
a second chance, Kay.
The Richard Nixon I know
will muster the full
power of the presidency.
And if there's a way
to destroy your paper,
by God, he'll find it!
-Publish information that harms
-I told you
-national security.
-there' nothing in there.
If there is, the paper
will be prosecuted.
Isn't that why you're here?
Yes, Ben, but if we lose--
Oh, with what we pay you,
you really shouldn't lose.
Ben, you need
to listen to them.
Hey, Fritz, good to see you.
This is about the
future of the company.
-and ensuring there is one.
-Oh, that's a little melodramatic,
-don't you think?
You're talking about exposing
years of government secrets.
I can't imagine they're
gonna take that lightly.
You could jeopardize
the public offering.
You could jeopardize our
television stations.
You know a felon can't
hold a broadcast license.
You think I give two shits
about the television stations?
You should, they make a hell of
a lot more money than you do.
And without that revenue,
we'd be forced to sell.
If the government wins
and we're convicted,
the Washington Post as we
know it will cease to exist.
Well, if we live in-
in a world where
the government could tell us
what we can and cannot print,
then the Washington Post
as we know it
has already ceased to exist.
What if we wait?
What if we hold off
on printing today?
And instead we call
the Attorney General
and we tell him that we
intend to print on Sunday.
That way, we give them and
us time to figure out
the legality of all of it,
while the court in New York
decides The Times case.
You're suggesting we alert
the Attorney General
to the fact that we
have these documents
that we're going to print
in a few days.
Well, yes, that is the...idea.
Yeah, well,
outside of landing the
Hindenburg in a lightning storm,
that's about the shittiest
idea I've ever heard.
Oh, boy.
Oh, here's the man of the hour.
Ah, I'm found.
Thank you, Kay, you didn't have
to got through all this trouble.
We had to turn him away
at the door, didn't we, dear.
-Oh, Gene.
-Mrs. Graham.
So, everything okay?
Uh, it's gotten pretty
hot over at Ben's house.
Oh, things are not going well?
No, Ben and Mr. Beebe
are real loggerheads.
Fritz and Ben on opposite sides?
I made a commitment
to publish these papers.
Yes, and if you would tell us who
you made that commitment to...
-Enjoying the fight?
-Yeah, who's winning?
I didn't see him come in.
Really? He's got his hand
so far up Fritz' ass.
Where is Fritz?
That--not in so many words, but
you're a bunch of lawyers.
If we're not gonna publish,
why are we busting
our rear ends, Ben?
Keep writing.
And uh, what, could--
Could you stop
playing chopsticks?
What's up there, Fritz?
Calling Kay.
I'm sorry, Ben.
I know you want this.
There'll be another one.
Like hell there will be.
Uh, hello, hello, I'm
making a telephone call.
Yeah, well, it's my house
-so I-I'll be on the call.
-All right, Ben.
I just want to-
to thank you all
for coming out this evening
to help me launch
Harry Gladstein and his
new sailboat into the...
Chesapeake Bay.
And into his very
well-earned retirement.
Let me just tell
you a little bit
about why I'm so
wild about Harry.
Mrs. Graham, it's
Mr. Beebe on the phone.
In uh, 1949, wasn't it?
Uh, Phil Graham first brought
Harry to the company.
-I'm afraid they need you now
-And I remember he told me.
Mrs. Graham.
They're now--
Uh, oh, dear.
I'm so sorry.
Forgive me, Harry.
I think I'll have to suspend.
Well, you're paying
the overtime.
Be right back.
We should wait.
Yeah, I understand, Ben,
but if you wait a day...
Fritz on the phone for me?
We should be on this call.
Well, there's an extension
in the living room.
Liz, show them where,
please, thank you.
-Hello, Fritz?
-Hello, Kay.
Would you like me
to catch you up?
I say we can, he says we can't.
There, you're caught up.
-Hello, it's Art.
Uh, Ben, there are concerns here
that are frankly above
your pay grade.
Well, there's a few above yours.
Like fucking freedom
of the press.
Let's just be civil if we can.
Do you think Nixon is
going to be civil?
He is trying to censor the
goddamn New York Times.
Yes, The Times, not The Post.
It's the same damn thing!
This is an historic fight.
If they lose, we lose.
Hello, is someone on the phone?
This is Phil.
Is that Phil Geyelin?
Uh, yes, Mrs. Graham.
Good, I'd like you to
weigh in if you would.
because I-I want to know what
staff is feeling about this.
Uh, well, frankly, Mrs. Graham,
Ben Bagdikian and Chal Roberts
have uh, both threatened to resign.
If we don't publish, that is.
Come on, Kay,
what do you expect?
You've got nothing to lose.
Due respect, we all
have everything to lose
if we don't publish
What will happen to the
reputation of this paper?
Everyone will find out
we had the study.
Hell, I bet half the
town knows already.
What will it look like
if we sit on our asses?
It'll look like we were prudent.
It will look like
we were afraid.
We will lose. The country will lose.
Nixon wins.
Nixon wins this one,
and the next one.
And all the ones after that
because we were scared.
Because the only way to assert
the right to publish is to publish.
Fritz, i-is Fritz-Fritz there?
Fritz are you on?
I'm here, Kay.
W-What do you think?
W-What do you think I should do?
I think...
there are arguments
on both sides.
But I guess I wouldn't publish.
Let's-Let's go.
Let's-Let's do it.
Let's go, let's go, let's go. Let's--
Let's publish.
-What'd she say?
We go.
She says we publish.
-Hot damn.
-My God.
-Holy shit.
-Let's get this out.
Holy shit.
-I need that, Meg.
-Oh, sorry.
-I need the notes.
-Sorry, sorry.
We got uh,
two hours to get it to the...
I got it, hold on.
-W-W-Wait, who' takin' it?
-I got it.
All right, call uh national desk,
tell 'em Bagdikian's coming with us.
All right, get it in the paper.
Editorial meeting.
-That it?
-That's it.
You, you got half an hour.
I'm uh, I'm not sure
how much thought
you put into this decision,
but we still have time.
The print deadline's
not till midnight.
I know when
the print deadline is.
Look, I'm still, uh,
learning how to do this,
but everything I know
about business tells me
you're making a
serious mistake here.
One that will cost you
and your paper dearly.
And hurt every person
gathered here,
not to mention the hundreds
of others who work for you.
I'm just trying to put
my thoughts together.
Kay, all I want is-is what is
best for you and your business.
But I just got off the phone
with a couple of bankers,
and they think it's
possible, likely even,
that a number of their institutional
investors will pull out
if you go ahead and publish,
and if they pull out...
You got a couple of hours.
For your sake
and for the sake of
everyone of your employees,
I hope you will reconsider.
Give me a canister.
Get it downstairs, and
I want the page editor
standin' over lino till
they got it ready to print.
Mr. Bagdikian.
I need to know your source.
I thought I was clear earlier.
Well, we weren't
going to press earlier.
Yeah, well, my
answer's the same.
"This action has been commenced
to enjoin The New York Times
"and their agents from further
disseminating or disclosing
certain alleged top
secret documents"
Are you trying to piss me off?
No, not me, Judge Gurfein.
If you look at the text of
his restraining order--
I read his restraining order.
So then you know that if The Times
was your source, we would be in
-direct violation of--
-I did not get the study
from The Times.
You're sure?
We done?
Did you get it from their source?
Excuse me?
Did you get the study
from the same source
as The Times?
We do not reveal our sources.
"This action has been
commenced to enjoin
"The New York Times and its agents--"
-I get it, I get it.
-from disseminating or disclosing...
If you got the study
from the same source,
that would amount to collusion.
Yeah, we could all
be executed at dawn.
And we could be held
in contempt of court.
Which means Mr. Bradlee and
Mrs. Graham could go to jail.
Mr. Bagdikian,
how likely is it
that your source
and The Times' source
are the same person?
It's likely.
How likely?
-It's very likely.
What is all this?
Lemonade earnings.
Marina wanted me to put
it away for safekeeping.
Ah, wow.
We're publishing.
I didn't think Kay'd do it.
That's brave.
Well, she's not the
only one who's brave.
Oh, what have you got to lose?
Uh, my job.
-My reputation.
-Oh, Ben, please.
We both know this
will do nothing but
burnish your reputation.
And as for your job, you can
always find another one.
If you're tryin' to
make me feel better,
there's nicer ways to do it.
You're very brave.
But Kay...
Kay is in a position she
never thought she'd be in.
A position I'm sure
plenty of people
don't think she should have.
And when you're told time and time
again that you're not good enough,
that your opinion
doesn't matter as much,
when they don't
just look past you,
when to them, you're
not even there,
when that's been your
reality for so long
it's hard not to let
yourself think it's true.
So, to make this decision,
to risk her fortune
and the company
that's been her entire life,
well, I think that's brave.
We got a problem.
Remember this?
-The day before the funeral.
Wasn't it?
I didn't...I didn't want to do it, but
Fritz said I should
go in and
say a few words
to the board and
I-I tried to rehearse something
but it all turned out so awful
and before I knew it, the car
was there ready to take me
and then you came out.
I remember.
You came out in your little
nightgown and your robe.
You hopped in the car
with me, gave me this.
Somehow, you managed to
scribble these notes for me
so I'd know what to say.
Well, I-I don't have
my glasses up here.
-So, just read it for me.
Oh, come on, just,
would you read it to me?
One, thank them.
there has been a crisis
but you know they will carry on.
Three, never expected
to be in this
Four, going off to clear mind
and think about the future.
Five, no changes at this time,
paper will remain in the family.
And six, and be carried
on in the tradition
-and so well said.
-So well said
You know, I just wanted
to hold on to the company
for you and Don
-and Willie and Stephen.
-You did.
-You have.
You know that quote--
The quote,
"A woman preaching is like a
dog walking on its hind legs,
"it's not done well and
"you're surprised to
see it's done at all."
-Samuel Johnson.
-Oh, Mummy.
That's a bunch of nonsense.
No, but that's the way
we all thought then.
You know.
I was never supposed
to be in this job.
When my father chose your
dad to run the company,
I thought it was the most
natural thing in the world.
I was so proud
because, you know,
Phil was so brilliant and he was
so gifted and
but I thought that was the
way it was supposed to be.
Everybody thought that way then.
And I was raising you kids and
I was happy
in my life the way it was.
But then when it all fell
apart, you know, when
when Phil died, it was just
I was forty-five years old
and I had never held a
I'd never had to hold
a job in my life.
But I just, I loved
the paper, you know, I do.
I do so love the paper,
I don't want it to be my fault
I don't want to be the one who...
I don't want to let
Phil and my father and
all of you kids
and everybody down.
Mrs. Graham?
You ran here?
There's been a bit of a uh,
a complication.
I didn't understand at first but now
everything is of a different light.
Our source might be the same
as The New York Times'.
If so, we could be
held in contempt.
Well, we could all go to prison.
Now putting that aside,
Katharine, I-I've come
to realize just
just how much
you have at stake.
Paul, I'm glad you're here.
Fritz is sitting with
Mrs. Graham now.
-Ben is here.
-Yes, I figured he would be.
-Jesus Christ.
-Mr. Bradlee,
if you knew Mr. Bagdikian
received the study from
-the same source at the time,
-Well, I didn't know because
-that would have been useful...
-I'm not in the habit of asking
my reporters who
their sources are,
and if you've spent
any time in a real
goddamn newspaper,
you'd know why.
You understand he's
trying to help you, Ben?
Mrs. Graham, hi.
We can all-
We can all appreciate
why Ben wants to publish
and if these papers had
come from someone else,
we might have been able
to skirt the issue.
Anything from
the folks upstairs?
We gotta start the run
or we won't get to the
carriers on time.
I disagreed with you earlier, but
I thought it brave, but this?
If we were to publish
knowing this,
it would just be irresponsible.
Fritz, do you agree?
Well, I don't particularly like the
idea of Kay as a convicted felon.
And then there's the
issue of the prospectus.
Based on the conversations I've
had with my friends at Kravath,
I believe a criminal
indictment would
qualify as a catastrophic event.
And given the likelihood
of indictment now...
Kay, it could--
Yes, I...I understand.
We uh, we have a responsibility
to the company, to the-
all the employees and to the
long term health of the paper.
Absolutely, Kay.
Yes. However, um...
The prospectus also talks about
the mission of
the paper which is
outstanding news
collection and reporting,
isn't that right?
And it also says
that the newspaper
will be dedicated
to the welfare of the nation
and to the, uh...
principles of a free press.
Yes, but...
one could argue
that the bankers
were put on notice.
But Kay, these are
extraordinary circumstances.
Are they? Are they?
For a newspaper?
One that covers the
Nixon White House?
Can you guarantee me that
we could go to print
without endangering
any of our soldiers--
You can't be considering--
I'm talking to Mr. Bradlee now.
Fritz, you're not gonna let
her do this, she can't--
Oh, no, she can, Arthur.
And it's entirely her decision.
Kay, you're allowing Mr. Bradlee
to uh, t-t-to lead you to folly.
The legacy of the
company is at stake.
-And if you want to
protect that legacy,
This company has been in my life
for longer than most of the people
working there have been alive
so I don't need the
lecture on legacy.
And this is no longer
my father's company.
It's no longer my
husband's company.
It's my company.
And anyone who thinks otherwise
probably doesn't
belong on my board.
Can you guarantee
me that we--
One hundred percent.
All right then.
My decision stands.
And I'm
going to bed.
It's Ben Bradlee.
Run it.
Yes, sir.
Start it up.
Here we go.
Let's go! Let's go!
More here!
I've got the Assistant
Attorney General.
Put him on.
Good morning.
Good morning, this
is William Rehnquist
from the office of legal
counsel at Justice.
Yes, sir.
Mr. Bradlee, I have been advised
by the Secretary of Defense
that the material published in
The Washington Post this morning
contains the
information relating
to the national defense
of the United States
and bears a top secret
As such the publication
of this information
is directly prohibited
by the Espionage Act,
Title 18 of the
United States Code,
Section 793.
As publication will cause
irreparable injury
to the defense interests
of the United States,
I respectfully request that
you publish no further
information of this character.
And advise me that you
have made arrangements
for the return of
these documents
to the Department of Defense.
Well, thank you for the call,
Mr. Rehnquist.
But I'm sure you understand,
I must respectfully decline.
I appreciate your time.
What's next?
We're going to court.
If we get a ruling in our
favor or The Times does,
we'll be at the Supreme
Court sometime next week.
We're focusing on Johnson.
I don't want any more arguments,
it's about shoes and about dresses.
Your Honor, the stories
published in The Times
and now The Post have created a
diplomatic and security disaster
for the United States.
How exactly have these papers
created a diplomatic disaster?
Why would other countries
talk to us in confidence
if secrets like these
can be leaked?
So, does this make it difficult
for the President to govern?
If the President can't keep
secrets, he can't govern.
Nothing less than the integrity
of the presidency is at stake.
Yes, I know.
I'm sure it has rattled
investors, Terry.
That's why I'm calling you.
Yes, I understand a number of
them have considered pulling out
but we feel...
Of course. I stand
behind the decision.
Well, you know,
one could argue it's
raising the profile of The Post.
Would The Post have published
military plans for D-Day
if they'd had them in advance?
Well, I don't think
there's any comparison
between a pending
invasion of Europe
and a historical survey of American
involvement in the Vietnam war.
The Supreme Court has decided to
hold a hearing tomorrow morning
to resolve the tangle of
conflicting decisions
over what of the Pentagon
papers can be published
and more broadly, the issue
of freedom of the press
versus government security.
But in agreeing
to hear the cases
of The New York Times and
The Washington Post--
The Supremes granted us a
emergency expedited basis--
We're in court with
The Times tomorrow.
What are you so happy about?
I always wanted to be part
of a small rebellion.
I ask him what he considers the
most important revelations to date
from the Pentagon documents.
I think the lesson is the
people of this country
can't afford to let the President
run the country by himself--
even foreign affairs any
more than domestic affairs
without the help of Congress.
I was struck in fact by
President Johnson's reaction
to these revelations
as close to treason.
Because it reflected
to me the sense
that what was damaging
to the reputation
of a particular administration--
a particular individual
was, in itself, treason
which is very close to saying,
"I am The State."
What on Earth are you doing?
They all followed your lead,
published the papers.
At least we're not alone.
No matter what happens tomorrow,
we are not a little
local paper anymore.
I'm sorry.
Mrs. Graham, there's an entrance
over on the side for the appellates.
Oh, thank you very much.
I'm sorry I'm walking so fast.
I was supposed to be
here half hour ago
but then I had to make
copies of the brief
and there was so
much traffic and I
just wouldn't think there'd
be all these people.
Well, no, you wouldn't.
You work for Roger Clark, then?
I work for the government.
the Solicitor General's office.
Oh, you're on the other team.
Mrs. Graham,
I probably shouldn't say this. brother...
he's still over there.
Well, I hope you win.
Besides, I like someone telling
these guys what's what.
But don't tell my
boss I said that.
He'd fire me just
for talking to you.
I told you to be here at 8:00.
Yes, I was here at 8:00,
but Richard sent me back.
Is Richard your boss?
No, but you weren't here, so--
I don't want excuses.
Just take a seat.
-Mrs. Graham.
Morning, gentlemen.
-Punch, Ed.
Nice to be on the same side
for a change.
I'll tell you what's nice.
Making the front page of your
newspaper on the daily basis.
Must be a lot of people from Boston
to Washington reading about us.
Yes, well, I suppose
it's appropriate
given what's at stake.
All rise.
The Honorable the Chief Justice
and the Associate Justices
of the Supreme Court
of the United States.
All yea, all yea, all yea.
All persons having business
before the Honorable...
Mr. Rosenthal! Mr. Rosenthal!
Sulzberger, do you think
they'll side to your favor?
Overall we feel encouraged.
27 congressmen filed amicus
briefs on our behalf.
As well as the ACLU...
-We should make a statement.
-I think that's her job.
I believe everything we had
to say we've already said.
Meg Greenfield.
Everyone, listen up!
Listen up.
We've got a decision.
We've got a decision.
The Supreme Court,
the decision's in.
The vote is...
Six to three...
Six to three, we win!
We win!
And so does The Times!
No shit.
Nice job, Gene.
-No gloating.
-I'm just satisfied.
I can't hear you, it's too loud.
Oh, okay.
Listen up, everybody,
listen up.
Uh, Justice Black's opinion.
The Founding Fathers
gave the free press
the protection it must have
to fulfill its essential
role in our democracy.
The press was to serve the
governed, not the governors.
Thank you.
That's great.
Do you know what my husband
said about the news?
He called it the first
rough draft of history.
That's good isn't it?
Oh, well, we don't always
get it right, you know.
We're not always perfect
but I figure we just
keep on it, you know?
That's the job, isn't it?
Yes, it is.
Oh, Ken Clauson came
by to see me earlier.
Apparently Justice
is still considering
criminal charges against us
And you're not worried?
Nope. No, Katharine,
that's your job.
I suppose it is.
Oh, thank God, the court
ruling was very clear.
Yeah, yeah, I know.
I'm sure Nixon will
fall right in line.
Good. Because you know
I don't think I could
ever live through
something like this again.
I want it clearly understood
that from now on,
no reporter from
The Washington Post
is ever to be in The White House.
Is that clear?
Never, never in
The White House.
No church service.
Nothing with Mrs. Nixon
does, you tell Connie.
Don't tell Mrs. Nixon
'cause she'll approve it.
No reporter from
The Washington Post
is ever to be in
The White House again.
And no photographer either.
No photographer, is that clear?
None ever to be in.
That is a total order.
And if necessary, I'll fire you.
You understand?
-I do understand.
-Okay. All right. Good.
D.C. Police, 2nd Precinct.
Yes, hello, this is Frank Wills.
I think we might have a burglary
in progress at the Watergate.