James Rosen Comes to Bucknell
Alexander Gao/The Bucknellian
Ethan Wise | email@example.com
On October 1st, 2015, 70 to 80 people gathered in The LC Forum to listen to Fox News Chief Washington Correspondent, James Rosen. This was the culmination of just over a year’s work of attempting to get schedules to line up, and appropriate funding to come through.
Rosen spoke about his experience as a journalist, and opened the evening with some light jokes about tenured faculty and how he once had a provost ask him, “Do you know the difference between the tenured faculty at my university and terrorists?”
He continued the story, “You can negotiate with terrorists.”
Rosen then discussed how the evening’s talk would be non-partisan, or at least bi-partisan, stating, “I aim to dazzle you with the raw animal magnetism of a Mitch McConnell, and the razer-sharp linear logic of Joe Biden.”
The talk then turned to the 2016 presidential election, discussing the Democratic candidates, where Rosen lightheartedly joked about whether Bernie Sanders would “[follow] the logical…conclusions of his socialist principals, [and] will be evenly distributing [his recent fundraising] amongst Martin O’Malley and Lincoln Chaffey.”
Rosen then moved to the GOP candidates, saying, “On the Republican side, we have Donald Trump, who continues the kind, soft, gentle, unifying campaign that has been his hallmark so far.”
“It promises to be a fun season” Rosen concluded, after briefly discussing Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina.
The evening then shifted to a slightly more serious topic of national security and foreign affairs. He touched on the likes of Russia in Syria, Saudi Arabia in Yemen, and Iran in Iraq. “It’s a mess,” remarked Rosen.
“We see of course, with the Iran nuclear deal, an attempt to square a certain circle. To take a regime, which for 25 years has lied and cheated and deceived the international community with respect to the parameters of its nuclear program…and attempt to subject such a beast to the constraints of…arms control verification.”
He then discussed the rise of non-state actors, like ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria), which is a relatively new phenomenon. “It’s not been clear to me that the Obama Administration has been prepared to recon fully with it” Rosen said. “Administration officials have been very open in saying that ISIS is going endure beyond President Obama’s term; it’s going to be a problem for the next President of the United States as well.”
Rosen continued by remarking on how Russia, supposedly one of our “allies” who helped negotiate the Iran nuclear deal, has just hosted General Qasem Soleimani, who is the head of the Quds Force of the Iran Revolutionary Guard. Soleimani has direct connections to terrorist groups in the Middle East and is credited with killing Americans using improvised explosive devices during the Iraq war.
Existing United Nations sanctions, which Russia is a party to, prohibits such travel of Soleimani outside of Iran. Rosen pointed out the irony that Russia is “supposed to be one of the countries that helps us guarantee that Iran lives up to the nuclear deal.” He concluded “…It’s not chuckle-worthy.”
Rosen then remarked about the time he once became the number one trending subject on Twitter. He took a picture of the trending topics, so that one day he can show his kids, who are eight and five.
He was referring to when the Washington Post reported in May of 2013, that four years prior the FBI secretly submitted a search warrant application to a federal judge. This allowed the FBI to go through his personal email and phone records – including his home, cell, his parents’ phone, and all work phones, which amounted to “20 different phone lines.”
All of this was done without notifying Rosen, who was unaware of the activity until The Post reported it.
The warrant “declared…James Rosen to be a criminal co-conspirator, with [his] alleged source inside the State Department.” It revolved around reporting Rosen was doing for Fox on North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
“It is the first time in modern history that the federal government has designated a reporter ‘a criminal’ for doing his job. In all of Watergate, throughout the Pentagon Papers, President Richard Nixon, and his aids…never designated a reporter a criminal.”
He was even labeled a flight risk. Rosen pointed out the irony in that label, since during the effective time of the warrant, he traveled abroad with Defense Sec Robert Gates and Sec of State John Kerry for over a week. “Such was the fraud in this case” Rosen said.
Finishing up the night, Rosen moved more generally to his time at Fox, saying “I’ve had the privilege of reporting for Fox News for 17 years now. My first day on the job was February 22, 1999 – raise your hands if you were alive at the time…all right that’s depressing…”
He’s covered the White House, State Department, and the Supreme Court, interviewed Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, and Supreme Court Justices. He’s been to all 50 states, 40 countries and, written two books. His second book “Cheney One on One: A Candid Conversation with America’s Most Controversial Statesman,” was just released this November.
“…Good reporters are obsessed, with and by, a completely self-imposed delusional construct that normal people….don’t even pay ten seconds attention to, called the record of our time. We care about the record of our time.”