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David Halberstam on ...


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(CNN) -- David Halberstam offered his thoughts on a variety of subjects during an interview with CNN.com:

• On Iraq:

I was very uneasy and cautionary about Iraq, and I remain that way because of my time in Vietnam. I felt that we were, in some way, about to punch our fist into the largest hornet's nest in the world, that we were really not terribly well prepared for the political reality we would end up with. I always felt the military would do very, very well. I have enormous respect for the ability of the modern American military, but I was very uneasy with the political consequences of [the war], and I remain that way.

• On the media:

It's more and more television than print. There's less and less foreign reporting, and ... the reporting you get on the main networks is more about entertainment and sensationalism and scandal rather than substantive, so I've been somewhat melancholy and critical of it over the last decade and a half. ...

I remain unhappy with some of the changes. As we become more and more an entertainment society, and as the media adapts to that kind of entertainment ... it's more and more about entertainment and less and less about substance. So many of these corporations, their real customers are not the people who buy the newspaper or turn on the television set, but the people who buy the stock. And that's a profound change.

• On the Red Sox, and why they make such good material for books:

I think there's something slightly haunted about the Red Sox. [There's a] quote from my great friend Marty Nolan, who used to be the editor of the Boston Globe editorial page: He said famously, "They killed my father and now they're coming after me."

Telling the story of the '27 Yankees as they roll over everybody -- Ruth homered and then Gehrig homered [isn't as rich a story] ... There's something poignant about the Red Sox. ... They're flawed as the rest of us are flawed, whereas the Yankees seem to go through life above the storm.


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