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Interview with Bernard Goldberg

HBO

What do you think makes Real Sports unique?

Bernard Goldberg

Well, Real Sports isn't one of those sports shows where we do stories about who's a better quarterback. Or who's a better shortstop. These are stories that take a very serious look at America through a sports lens. Real Sports is a magazine show. Lets get that straight. It's a magazine show. It's not the evening news. And as a result, there's nothing we have to cover. There's no story that we have to put on the air because it happened that afternoon. So we can pick and choose the stories that we think are a combination of the most interesting and the most important.

HBO

What's the most rewarding aspect of working on the show?

Bernard Goldberg

Journalists--whether they're a sports journalist or news journalists-- are basically generalists. Very few of us are expert in a particular thing to the point that that's all we want to do. So what I like most about being on this show is that one month I'm doing something that requires some serious investigation and working with some very good producers who are very good at that. The next month, I'm doing a piece that requires me to muster all the style I can muster. Sometimes you're a hard news reporter. And sometimes you're a stylist. That's what a magazine show does best. It brings you all sorts of different kinds of stories and puts them together in one place, in one magazine in Real Sports.

HBO

What do you think Real Sports does best?

Bernard Goldberg

Well, I'm going to give you an answer you don't expect. Some journalists salivate at the opportunity to either bring down some major institution in our country. But I don't go into a story saying, 'This offends my sensibilities, I'm going to get that guy.' There's too much of that in the world of journalism. By the same token, if an institution is hiding something, whether it's Major League Baseball or whatever it is, we're going to expose it.

I don't always side with David in the David and Goliath fight. Sometimes David is a little pain in the ass and he deserves to be knocked down. And if David is wrong and Goliath is right, that's how the story is coming out.

I don't like to think I take sides at all. And that's what makes Real Sports more interesting than other show, because if the big guy is wrong, we're going to expose him. But if the big guy is right, we're going to put that on too. And if the little guy is wrong, he's going to get hammered. That's real journalism. That's what Real Sports is about, real journalism.

Bernard Goldberg