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Monday, March 17, 2008

The New York Times Explains Itself

Clark Hoyt, the public editor of the New York Times, explored how the paper of record was duped by false memoir writer Margaret Jones, who wrote Love and Consequences.

This is a story that fell between the cracks and I can see why. Hoyt does a good job of showing how the initial glowing book review gave the author instant credibility, enough that the reporter writing a profile for the Home section gave Jones an easy pass. He also debunks the notion that the Times reviewed the book because its editor was Sarah McGrath, the daughter of Times writer and former book review editor Charles McGrath.

However, this should be the last time this mistake is made. Now every book reviewer, blogger, reporter, and writer should realize that people can't be taken for their word. Remember the mantra: Check! Check! Check!

1 comment:

bookfraud said...

you might think that a book with such extravagant claims -- especially following james frey et. al. -- would demand extra scrutiny. but i also see how it could happen.

i'm reading "oh, the glory of it all," also a memoir. but a times feature on the author, sean wilsey, was extremely skeptical on some of his claims.

different reporters, different approaches, no?