Insider, The (1999)
Mike Wallace: Who are these people? Lowell Bergman: Ordinary people under extraordinary pressure, Mike. What the hell do you expect? Grace and consistency?
Agent: Do you have a history of emotional problems, Mr. Wigand? Jeffrey Wigand: Yes. Yes, I do. I get extremely emotional when assholes put bullets in my mailbox!
Jeffrey Wigand: I have to put my family's welfare on the line here, my friend! And what are you puttin' up? You're puttin' up words! Lowell Bergman: Words? While you've been dickin' around at some fucking company golf tournaments, I been out in the world, giving my word and backing it up with action.
Lowell Bergman: You'd better look into it, because I'm getting two things: pissed off and curious.
Mike Wallace: Will you tell him that when I conduct an interview, I sit anywhere I damn please!
Jeffrey Wigand: Fuck it. Let's go to court.
Mike Wallace: What do you think? I'm going to 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.
Mike Wallace: "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!
Mike Wallace: You cut it! You cut the guts out of what I said! Eric Kluster: It was a time consideration, Mike... Mike Wallace: Time? Bullshit! You corporate lackey! Who told you your incompetent little fingers had the requisite skills to edit me?
Jeffrey Wigand: I'm just a commodity to you, aren't I? I could be anything. Right? Anything worth putting on between commercials. Lowell Bergman: To a network, probably, we're all commodities. To me? You are not a commodity. What you are is important.
Mike Wallace: Fame has a fifteen-minute half-life. Infamy lasts a little longer.
Mike Wallace: In the real world, when you get to where I am, there are other considerations. Lowell Bergman: Like what? Corporate responsibility? What, are we talking celebrity here? Mike Wallace: I'm not talking celebrity, vanity, CBS. I'm talking about when you're nearer the end of your life than the beginning. Now, what do you think you think about then? The future? In the future I'm going to do this? Become that? What future? No. What you think is "How will I be regarded in the end?" After I'm gone. Now, along the way I suppose I made some minor impact. I did Iran-Gate and the Ayatollah, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Saddam, Sadat, etcetera, etcetera. I showed them thieves in suits. I've spent a lifetime building all that. But history only remembers most what you did last. And should that be fronting a segment that allowed a tobacco giant to crash this network? Does it give someone at my time of life pause? Yeah.
Lowell Bergman: You pay me to go get guys like Wigand, to draw him out. To get him to trust us, to get him to go on television. I do. I deliver him. He sits. He talks. He violates his own fucking confidentiality agreement. And he's only the key witness in the biggest public health reform issue, maybe the biggest, most-expensive corporate-malfeasance case in U.S. history. And Jeffrey Wigand, who's out on a limb, does he go on television and tell the truth? Yes. Is it newsworthy? Yes. Are we gonna air it? Of course not. Why? Because he's not telling the truth? No. Because he is telling the truth. That's why we're not going to air it. And the more truth he tells, the worse it gets!
Richard Scruggs: I know what you're facing, Jeff. And, I think I know how you're feeling. In the Navy I flew A-6's off carriers. In combat, events have a duration of seconds, sometimes minutes. But what you're going through goes on day in and day out. Whether you're ready for it or not, week in, week out. Month after month after month. Whether you're up or whether you're down. You're assaulted psychologically. You're assaulted financially, which is its own special kind of violence because it's directed at your kids. What school can you afford? How will that affect their lives? You're asking yourself, "Will that limit what they may become?" You feel your whole family's future's compromised, held hostage. I do know how it is.