Friday, April 27, 2007

So a Reporter Wanders Into a Bookstore....

The front-page article in the New York Times today on George Tenet's new book (in which he blasts the Bush administration; hence the front page article) contains a line that reads almost like a joke in an old nightclub routine. "So a reporter wanders into a bookstore..."

Says the Times, "The 549-page book, 'At the Center of the Storm,' is to be published by HarperCollins on Monday. By turns accusatory, defensive, and modestly self-critical, it is the first detailed account by a member of the president’s inner circle of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the decision to invade Iraq and the failure to find the unconventional weapons that were a major justification for the war."

So the Times got an advance copy, obviously. No! No! says the Times. Its reporter just happened to be wandering through a bookstore and lo and behold, there it was. "A copy of the book was purchased at retail price in advance of publication by a reporter for The New York Times."

But the book is not available on Amazon or in bookstores just yet.

There's nothing wrong or unethical about the Times getting an advance copy of the book, so as to publicize it. That's what obviously happened here, though apparently the Times actually paid for its copy. Why conceal the truth?

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