Walter Isaacson Quotes

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Walter Isaacson
FRSA

Isaacson in New York in 2012
Chair of the Broadcasting Board of Governors
In office
July 2, 2010 â€“ January 27, 2012
President Barack Obama
Preceded by James K. Glassman
Succeeded by Jeff Shell
Personal details
Born (1952-05-20) May 20, 1952 (age 64)
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Spouse(s) Cathy Wright Isaacson[1]
Children Betsy Isaacson
Parents Betsy and Irwin Isaacson
Residence New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Alma mater Harvard University
Pembroke College, Oxford
Occupation Author
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.
Walter Isaacson
I have a strong emotional respect for Steve.
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.
Walter Isaacson
What Einstein was able to do was - to use a cliche - think out of the box.
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.'
Walter Isaacson
I wonder now how tough you have to be to get big things done.
Terrorism is a horrible thing that is the great threat to civilization on our planet.
Walter Isaacson
I've always had an abundance of material about the subjects of my biographies.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
I do think it's important, if you're going to be very creative, to be a seeker.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
When you write biographies, whether it's about Ben Franklin or Einstein, you discover something amazing: They are human.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
For some people, miracles serve as evidence of God's existence.
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
And if you don't have your ears open, you're not going to be able to figure out what you should be doing.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
Polite and velvety leaders, who take care to avoid bruising others, are generally not as effective at forcing change.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
I think one problem we've had is that people who are smart and creative and innovative as engineers went into financial engineering.
Walter Isaacson
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.
Walter Isaacson
Smart people are a dime a dozen. What matters is the ability to think different… to think out of the box.
Walter Isaacson