Isaacson in New York in 2012
|Chair of the Broadcasting Board of Governors|
July 2, 2010 â€“ January 27, 2012
|Preceded by||James K. Glassman|
|Succeeded by||Jeff Shell|
May 20, 1952 |
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Cathy Wright Isaacson|
|Parents||Betsy and Irwin Isaacson|
|Residence||New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Alma mater||Harvard University
Pembroke College, Oxford
|Awards||Benjamin Franklin Medal (Royal Society of Arts) (2013)
The Nichols-Chancellor’s Medal (2015)
I think when money starts to corrupt journalism, it undermines the journalism, and it undermines the credibility of the product, and you end up not succeeding.
I think it's really good that you have great competition among news networks, and for that matter all the networks in general. It's bringing more and more people in to watching the news.
I've asked Jobs why he didn't get an operation then and he said, 'I didn't want my body to be opened. I didn't want to be violated in that way.'
Terrorism is a horrible thing that is the great threat to civilization on our planet.
I've always had an abundance of material about the subjects of my biographies.
In the age of the internet when everybody's a pundit, we're still gonna need somebody there to go talk to the colonels, to be on the ground in Baghdad and stuff and that's very expensive.
I don't think there was enough skepticism because I think most of us kind of believed that Saddam Hussein was building biological, chemical, and perhaps even, nuclear weapons.
When there are multiple versions of a story, you really have three ways to go. You can pick the most sensational version. You can try to balance things in your gut to get to what you think is the honest truth. Or you can err on the side of kindness.
I actually think Bill Gates is conventionally smarter, even though it's a dumb word, but mental processing power – I've watched him use four different screens, process information, get to the right answer, boom boom boom.
But the point is to get a whole new generation of people and people in general more re-engaged in news, and this has happened a lot since September 11th of course.
I do think it's important, if you're going to be very creative, to be a seeker.
He said, 'From then on, I realized that I was not just abandoned. I was chosen. I was special.' And I think that's the key to understanding Steve Jobs.
I think that's exactly what Silicon Valley was all about in those days. Let's do a startup in our parents' garage and try to create a business.
One of the great pressures we're facing in journalism now is it's a lot cheaper to hire thumb suckers and pundits and have talk shows on the air than actually have bureaus and reporters.
I think it is valuable and should be valued by its consumers. Charging for content forces discipline on journalists: they must produce things that people actually value.
When you write biographies, whether it's about Ben Franklin or Einstein, you discover something amazing: They are human.
Jobs has within him sort of this conflict, but he doesn't quite see it as a conflict between being hippie-ish and anti-materialistic but wanting to sell things like Wozniak's board. Wanting to create a business.
Especially right after 9/11. Especially when the war in Afghanistan is going on. There was a real sense that you don't get that critical of a government that's leading us in war time.
I think right now we need to look back at the founding values of our country. Rise above partisanship, be less bitter when it comes to important matters that have to be solved.
I visited Jobs for the last time in his Palo Alto, Calif., home. He had moved to a downstairs bedroom because he was too weak to go up and down stairs. He was curled up in some pain, but his mind was still sharp and his humor vibrant.
I think that Benjamin Franklin felt very strongly in foreign policy in this world, that you needed to at least show some humility, especially when you were strong.
You can't have a sustainable US economy without a great education system. Teach students to do the job right. You don't have an innovative economy unless you have a great education.
We have to compete in a universe of 200 networks, so we have to carve out our own niche, and to me, that niche is just basic shoe-leather journalism with some good journalists at the helm you can trust as presenters.
We are in a situation with the huge stimulus package that's going to be spent all across this nation and a big financial crisis and banking crisis. And what we need is good, trained journalists who can play the role of watchdog.
Just being the seeker, somebody whose open to spiritual enlightenment, is in itself the important thing and it's the reward for being a seeker in this world.
You know, one of these things that happened in the '60s and '70s was this confluence of, sort of, a counter-culture with computer culture.
I think when you're looking for people to interview, you want to make it fair and honest. You're not just bringing people on so you can beat them up or, you know, make fools out of them or something.
And if you don't have your ears open, you're not going to be able to figure out what you should be doing.
More generally, I made an effort to leave out things that weren't relevant to the main narrative themes of the book, namely that there were two sides to Steve Jobs: the romantic, poetic, countercultural rebel on one side, and the serious businessperson on the other.
Polite and velvety leaders, who take care to avoid bruising others, are generally not as effective at forcing change.
Steve Jobs was never going to let Flash on any Apple product again like that after in 1997 – he's got a long memory – they said no and Bill Gates said yes.
I think it's very important to have a sense of balance in covering the war, but you don't have to be morally neutral about terrorism.
Yeah, I think that his great creation was not any one product but a company in which creativity was connected to great engineering. And that will survive at least while the current people who trained under Steve are there.
I think one problem we've had is that people who are smart and creative and innovative as engineers went into financial engineering.
I think that we shouldn't be fixated all the time on the ups and downs of the weekly ratings, of the quarter-hour ratings.
Smart people are a dime a dozen. What matters is the ability to think different… to think out of the box.