All the President's Men (1976)
Jason Robards: Ben Bradlee
[last lines excluding archive footage]
Ben Bradlee : You know the results of the latest Gallup Poll? Half the country never even heard of the word Watergate. Nobody gives a shit. You guys are probably pretty tired, right? Well, you should be. Go on home, get a nice hot bath. Rest up... 15 minutes. Then get your asses back in gear. We're under a lot of pressure, you know, and you put us there. Nothing's riding on this except the, uh, first amendment to the Constitution, freedom of the press, and maybe the future of the country. Not that any of that matters, but if you guys fuck up again, I'm going to get mad. Goodnight.
Howard Simons : Then can we use their names?
Carl Bernstein : No.
Ben Bradlee : Goddammit, when is somebody going to go on the record in this story? You guys are about to write a story that says the former Attorney General, the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in this country, is a crook! Just be sure you're right.
Ben Bradlee : All non-denial denials. They doubt our ancestry, but they don't say the story isn't accurate.
Ken Clawson : Please, listen, now, if you're going to refer to that alleged conversation with Sally Aiken, you can't print that it took place in her apartment. I have a wife and a family and a dog and a cat.
Ben Bradlee : A wife and a family and a dog and a cat. Right, Ken, right, yeah. Uh, Ken, I don't want to print that you were in Sally's apartment...
Ken Clawson : Thank God.
Ben Bradlee : I just want to know what you said, in Sally's apartment.
Ben Bradlee : Where's the goddamn story?
Bob Woodward : The money's the key to whatever this is.
Ben Bradlee : Says who?
Howard Simons : Deep Throat.
Ben Bradlee : Who?
Howard Simons : Oh, that's Woodward's garage freak; his source in the executive department.
Ben Bradlee : Garage Freak? Jesus, what kind of a crazy fucking story is this? Who did you say?
Howard Simons : He's on deep background, I call him deep... throat.
John Mitchell : [on phone] All that crap you're putting in the paper? It's all been denied. You tell your publisher, tell Katie Graham she's gonna get her tit caught in a big wringer if that's published. Good Christ, that's the most sickening thing I ever heard.
Ben Bradlee : [later] He really said that about Mrs. Graham?
Carl Bernstein : [nods]
Ben Bradlee : Well, I'd cut the words "her tit" and print it.
Carl Bernstein : Why?
Ben Bradlee : This is a family newspaper.
Scott, Foreign Editor : It's a dangerous story for this paper.
Ben Bradlee : How dangerous?
Scott, Foreign Editor : Well, it's not that we're using nameless sources that bothers me. Or that everything we print, the White House denies. Or that no other papers are reprinting our stuff.
Howard Simons : What then?
Scott, Foreign Editor : Look, there are two thousand reporters in this town, are there five on Watergate? When did the Washington Post suddenly get the monopoly on wisdom? Why would the Republicans do it? McGovern's self-destructed just like Humphrey, Muskie, the bunch of them. I don't believe this story. It doesn't make sense.
Ben Bradlee : Now hold it, hold it. We're about to accuse Haldeman, who only happens to be the second most important man in this country, of conducting a criminal conspiracy from inside the White House. It would be nice if we were right.
Ben Bradlee : *Woodstein*...!
[Newsroom goes quiet]
Ben Bradlee : Look, McGovern's dropped to nothing, Nixon's guaranteed the renomination, the Post is stuck with a story no one else wants, it'll sink the goddamn paper. Everyone says, "Get off it, Ben", and I come on very sage and I say, uh, "Well, you'll see, you wait till this bottoms out." But the truth is, I can't figure out WHAT we've got.