The Post (2017)
Meg Greenfield: ...from the majority opinion: 'In the First Amendment 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.'
Kay Graham: My decision stands, and I'm going to bed.
Ben Bagdikian: I always wanted to be part of a small rebellion.
Ben Bradlee: He says we can't, I say we can. There, you're caught up.
[behind closed doors]
Ben Bradlee: So, can I ask you a hypothetical question?
Kay Graham: Oh, dear. I don't like hypothetical questions.
Ben Bradlee: Well, I don't think you're gonna like the real one, either.
Kay Graham: Do you have the Papers?
Ben Bradlee: Not yet.
Kay Graham: Do you know what my husband said about the news? He called it the first rough draft of history.
Robert McNamara: If you publish, you'll get the very worst of him, the Colsons and the Ehrlichmans and he'll crush you.
Kay Graham: I know, he's just awful, but I...
Robert McNamara: [Interrupting and getting extremely angry] 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.
Roger Clark: If the government wins and we're convicted, the Washington Post as we know it will cease to exist.
Ben Bradlee: Well, if we live 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.
Kay Graham: [to Robert McNamara] I'm here asking your advice, Bob, not your permission.
Police Dispatcher: DC Police, 2nd Precinct...
Hotel Guard: Yes, hello, this is Frank Wills. I think we might have a burglary in progress at the Watergate.
Ben Bagdikian: Outside of landing the Hindenburg in a lightning storm, that's about the shittiest idea I've ever heard.
Fritz Beebe: Oh boy!
Ben Bradlee: [to Kay] You know, the only couple I knew that both Kennedy and LBJ wanted to socialize with was you and your husband.
Ben Bradlee: We have to be the check on their power. If we don't hold them accountable, then, my God, who will?
Kay Graham: 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.
Tony Bradlee: 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. 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.
Daniel Ellsberg: But it didn't take him long to figure out, well, for us 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. They lied to Congress and they lied to the public. They knew we couldn't win and still sent boys to die.
Ben Bagdikian: What about Nixon?
Daniel Ellsberg: He's just carrying on like all the others, too afraid to be the one who loses the war on his watch.
Daniel Ellsberg: 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.