Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill’s new book, “The Price of Loyalty,” has been getting huge amounts of press even though it won’t be released until January 13. A Google search reveals hundreds of news articles about the book and it remains in the NY Times' Most E-mailed Articles and CNN’s Most Poular listings.
The media has seized upon two quotes from the still unreleased book. First was this gem, used by the New York Times:
President Bush was so disengaged during Cabinet meetings that he was like a "blind man in a roomful of deaf people."
The Bush administration began planning to use U.S. troops to invade Iraq within days after the former Texas governor entered the White House three years ago, former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill told CBS News' 60 Minutes.
Steven Green, of VodkaPundit, isn’t surprised or impressed with O’Neill’s revelations. The VodkaPundit says it isn’t surprising to see tell all books authored by former administration officials in a presidential election year. However, it is surprising that this is the worst O’Neill has to offer.
According to Newsweek, the administration has this to say about O’Neill’s allegations:
An administration official told NEWSWEEK, "We didn't pay attention to the crazy things he said while he was here, so why would we start now after he's gone?" (O'Neill has told friends he regrets his comment but will have to "live with it.")
Matthew Hoy has posted a review of Bob Kohn's "Journalistic Fraud: How The New York Times Distorts the News and Why it Can No Longer Be Trusted."
Kohn identifies many different methods of injecting bias into news stories, nearly every one of them masterfully accomplished by the Times. It could easily be used as a textbook for aspiring journalists on how not to write.
Kohn identifies several instances where the Times could have given Bush credit for a certain accomplishment, but instead gave it to the government agency (which he ultimately heads). He also identifies instances where Bush is blamed by name for failures of various agencies (which he ultimately heads). Kohn also illustrates that the Times characterized events just the opposite way when Clinton was president.
Kohn's book is well worth reading, because it shows you how journalism can be skewed -- at any newspaper. Editors at the Times would be well-advised to read it and think about what they're doing to what was once America's greatest newspaper.