Berkeley Talks: Journalist Maggie Haberman on reporting on the Trump White House

Read the transcript.

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portrait of maggie haberman

Maggie Haberman (Photo by Andrew Lih via Wikimedia Commons)

In this talk, New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Maggie Haberman offers a look into what it’s like reporting on the Trump White House, the current political waters and the changing perceptions of journalism across the country.

“What Trump does with that language, which comes with a real degree of danger, in part for the obvious, but in part because his fans don’t realize that some of this is a game for him, and how much he truly has fed off of and enjoys the mainstream media attention,” says Haberman. “He still brags to his friends that he’s on the front page of the Times more now than he ever was before he was elected. They have told me they detect a note of pride in his voice. Not everything that Trump is doing is new or something unseen before in U.S. presidential politics, including his attempts to influence how the press does its job. Reporters cannot lose sight of that. He is extreme, but aspects of what he does are not unique.”

Haberman spoke at Zellerbach Hall on Sunday, Oct. 6, as part of Cal Performances’ 2019–20 Speaker Series, a season-long series of public presentations by some of the leading creative and intellectual voices of our time, including David Sedaris, Dan Pfeiffer, David Pogue, Jemele Hill, Laverne Cox and Jad Abumrad — thinkers, activists, strategists, satirists, journalists and pioneers at the leading edge of culture and politics.

Maggie Haberman covered New York City Hall for the New York Daily News, the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign and other political races for the New York Post and wrote about national affairs as a senior reporter for Politico. She and her team at the New York Times received the Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for their coverage of the Trump administration and alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, as well as the Aldo Beckman Award from the White House Correspondents’ Association. Her stories about covering a contentious administration offer a revealing insider’s look at what is sure to be known as our country’s most explosive era of modern journalism.

Ed Wasserman, dean of Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, moderated questions from the audience following Haberman’s presentation.

Learn more about Cal Performances’ speaker series.