Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Monday, December 13, 2004

I took a break from pretending to study this afternoon and read "Hard News" by Seth Mnookin, a book about the Jayson Blair incident at the New York Times. Well, no. That's not entirely true. It's a book about the Howell Raines regime at the New York Times, and how Howell was a bad guy. The Jayson Blair incident was just what gave the rest of the staff the ability to get rid of Howell. A review I'd read said the book reads like a mystery novel. I don't remember the last mystery novel I've read. Maybe it reads like a mystery, but there is no real mystery. It's a well-written book, a compelling and quick read, but I'm not sure suspense was the emotion it was going for or the emotion I felt. Mnookin used to write for Brill's Content, which was a pretty cool magazine about the media industry that I may have been the only college student reading at the time. I read Howell Raines' long piece in the May 2004 Atlantic. Heck, I read Jayson Blair's book (aren't libraries cool?), which was not that thrilling. So I'm kind of a junkie on the issue. This was a good read. Clearly, the author did his homework. The book feels well-informed, and it feels like it's reporting from the inside, and giving a real feel for what life at the Times was like under Raines, and why much of the staff disliked him, and the path from his hiring to his departure. A good read. I recommend.