“The truth, no matter how bad, is never as dangerous as a lie in the long run.” Today, that quote from the legendary newspaper editor Ben Bradlee is an important reminder to all journalists that the pursuit of facts is more important than the comfort of powerful people. These days, simply asking questions can make you the target of attacks, as I experienced vividly one morning while attempting to ask the president a simple but important question that he angrily deemed “stupid.” But in that moment, I knew that I had touched on something important that needed to be asked again until it was answered. Our country’s founders knew that keeping the truth hidden from the people would lead to the downfall of democracy. And so as journalists, it is our responsibility to redouble our efforts in the face of attacks, because lies are more dangerous to democracy in the long run.
Abby Phillip is a White House Correspondent for CNN. Abby is the recipient of the 2019 Washington Women in Journalism Outstanding Journalist in Broadcast award.