❝ Julie K. Brown, an investigative journalist for the Miami Herald, just reminded us why Trump’s attempts to intimidate and delegitimize the press are so dangerous. Brown broke the behind-the-scenes story of the disgraceful plea deal that Alexander Acosta, then the U.S. attorney in Miami, secretly negotiated with attorneys for sex-ring trafficker Jeffrey Epstein. Brown started a firestorm that re-opened the Epstein case and…forced Acosta to resign as secretary of Labor.
❝ Journalists were once defined by the chain-smoking, wisecracking, crime-beat reporters in the play “The Front Page,” and later by the clean-cut, dedicated types played by Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman in the movie “All The President’s Men” about Watergate. (Okay, in the movie Carl Bernstein smoked a lot, too).
Now the image of an investigative journalist is a woman in her late 50s who was raised by a single parent, left home at age 16 to earn enough money to attend college, and scrapped her way up the journalistic ladder at the Miami Herald.
❝ Brown had no subpoena power, commanded no FBI agents and had no ability to offer leniency in return for testimony. Yet, she did the job that Acosta and his prosecutorial team — who had all those tools at their disposal — should have done, but didn’t. Her articles reported that, as often as three times a day, Epstein sexually abused underage girls and even paid some of his victims — one was 14 and had braces at the time — to recruit other victims.
Brown turned over a giant rock with some very slimy things underneath, and not just Epstein.
The tradition of Woodward and Bernstein is still alive and well in the best newspapers in this land.