THE INSIDER   (1999)
Key Passages

-- approximate times given are marked from the beginning of the film, not the video tape --

0:04:17  Integrity and Objectivity
Sheikh Fadlallah: Perhaps you prove journalism objectivity, and I see the questions first.  Then I decide if I grant the interview.
Lowell Bergman: No.  We don't do that.  You've seen 60 Minutes and Mike Wallace, so...you know our reputation for integrity and objectivity, and you also know we are the highest-rated, most respected  TV magazine news show in America.

0:32:56  Threats
Jeffrey Wigand: So, what you're saying is it isn't enough that you fired me for no good reason.  Now you question my integrity?  On top of the humiliation of being fired, you threaten me?  You threaten my family?  It never crossed my mind not to honor my agreement.  I will tell you, Mr. Sandefur, and Brown & Williamson too-- fuck me?  Well, fuck you!

0:41:40  The Seven Dwarves
Jeffrey Wigand: So he's not gonna allow his company to put on the shelf a product that might hurt people...not like the seven dwarves.
Lowell Bergman: Seven dwarves?
Jeffrey Wigand: Seven CEOs of Big Tobacco.  They got in front of Congress that time...it was on television...
Lowell Bergman: Oh yeah yeah yeah...swore under oath that they know nothing about addiction, disease...

0:44:42  Tobacco's Standard Defense
60 Minutes staffer: What that is is tobacco's standard defense; it's the "we don't know" litany.  Addiction?  We believe not.   Disease?  We don't know.  We take a bunch of leaves, we roll 'em together.  You smoke 'em, after that you're on your own...we don't know.

0:45:09  The Ultimate Insider
Lowell Bergman: This guy is the top scientist in the number three tobacco company in America.  He's a corporate officer-- you never get whistleblowers from Fortune 500 companies.  This guy is the ultimate insider.

1:07:53  Getting Emotional
FBI Agent: Do you have a history of emotional problems, Mr. Wigand?
Jeffrey Wigand: Yes.  Yes, I do.  Yes, I get extremely emotional when assholes put bullets in my mailbox!

1:11:29  Ordinary People
Mike Wallace: Who are these people?!
Lowell Bergman: Ordinary people under extradorinary pressure, Mike.  What the hell do you expect?  Grace and consistency?

1:12:47  The Nicotine Delivery Business
Jeffrey Wigand: We are in the nicotine delivery business.
Mike Wallace: And that's what cigarettes are for?
Jeffrey Wigand: Delivery device for nicotine.
Mike Wallace: A delivery device for nicotine.
Mike Wallace: Put it in your mouth, light it up, and you're going to get your fix.
Jeffrey Wigand: You're gonna get your fix.

1:14:56  No Regrets
Mike Wallace: And you wish you hadn't come forward?  You wish you hadn't blown the whistle?
Jeffrey Wigand: Yeah, there are times I wish I hadn't done it.  There are times I feel com...compelled to do it.  If you had asked me, would I do it again, do I think it's worth it?  Yeah, I think it's worth it.

1:24:00  How Does One Go to Jail?
Jeffrey Wigand: Jail?
Michael Moore: Possibly, yes.  That is one of the possible consequences of your testifying here today, that's right.
Jeffrey Wigand: How does one go..go to jail?  What, what does my family do?   Go on welfare?  If my wife has to work, who's gonna look after the kids, put food on the table?  I mean, my children need me!

1:42:07  Alice in Wonderland
Helen Caperelli: Well, with tortious interference I'm afraid, the greater the truth, the greater the damage.
Lowell Bergman: Come again?
Helen Caperelli: They own the information he's disclosing.  The truer it is, the greater the damage to them.  If he lied, he didn't disclose their information, and the damages are smaller.
Lowell Bergman: Is this Alice in Wonderland?!

1:45:01  Who's the Boss?
Lowell Bergman: Since when has the, uh, paragon of investigative journalism allowed lawyers to determine the news content on 60 Minutes?

2:00:53  Mike's Harsh Reality
Mike Wallace: Do me a favor, will you?  Spare me.  For god's sake, get in the real world!  What do you think?  I'm gonna resign in protest to force it on the air?  The answer is no.  I don't plan to spend the end of my days wandering in the wilderness of National Public Radio!  That decision I've already made!

2:02:06  Sounding Off
Mike Wallace: "Mike?"  "Mike?"  Try "Mr. Wallace."  We work in the same corporation, doesn't mean we work in the same profession.  What are you gonna do now?  You gonna finesse me?  Lawyer me some more?  I've been in this profession fifty fucking years.  You and the people you work for are destroying the most-respected, the highest-rated, the most profitable show on this network!

2:09:41  Running Out of Heroes
Lowell Bergman: I fought for you, and I still fight for you!
Jeffrey Wigand: You fought for me?!  You manipulated me into where I am now-- staring at the Brown & Williamson building.  It's all dark except the tenth floor.  That's the legal department.  That's where they fuck with my life!
Lowell Bergman: Jeffrey, where are you going with this?  Where are you going?  You are important to a lot of people, Jeffrey.  You think about that. You think about them.  I'm running out of heroes, man.  Guys like you are in short supply.
Jeffrey Wigand: Yeah, guys like you, too.

2:25:04  Fame vs. Infamy
Lowell Bergman: This news division has been vilified in the New York Times, in print, on television, for caving to corporate interests!
Don Hewitt: The New York Times ran a blow by blow of what we talked about, behind closed doors!  You fucked us!
Lowell Bergman: No, YOU fucked you!  Don't invert stuff!  Big Tobacco tried to smear Wigand, you bought it.  The Wall Street Journal, here, not exactly a bastion of anti-capitalist sentiment, refutes Big Tobacco's smear campaign as the lowest form of character assassination!  And now, even now, when every word of what Wigand has said on our show is printed, the entire deposition of his testimony in a court of law in the State of Mississippi, the cat TOTALLY out of the bag, you're still standing here debating!  Don, what the hell else do you need?
Don Hewitt: Mike, you tell him.
Mike Wallace: You fucked up, Don.
Don Hewitt: That's old news...stick with me like always, we'll be okay.  These things have a half-life of fifteen minutes.
Mike Wallace: No, that's fame.  Fame has a fifteen minute half-life.  Infamy lasts a little longer.

2:31:14  It's All Changed
Mike Wallace: Come on.  It all worked out.  You came out okay in the end.
Lowell Bergman: I did?  What do I tell a source on the next tough story?  Hang in with us, you'll be fine, maybe?  What got broken here doesn't go back together again.

End Text
Subsequent to the events dramatized here, the tobacco industry in 1998 settled the lawsuits filed against it by Mississippi and 49 other states for $246 billion.

Although based on a true story, certain events in this motion picture have been fictionalized for dramatic effect.

The source of the death threats against the Wigands never was identified and no one was ever charged or prosecuted.

In 1996 Dr. Wigand was named "Teacher of the Year" in Kentucky.  Currently, he lives in South Carolina.

Lowell Bergman is a correspondent for the PBS series "Frontline" and is on the faculty of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.
 
 

Copyright (c) 2003 Lindsay Elizabeth Totams, Undergraduate at Lehigh University.

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