The following list of corrections appears on pages 267-269 of the paperback edition of Hard News and is included here for the benefit of readers of the hardcover edition.
In putting together Hard News, I knew that the book would come under intense scrutiny because of the nature of the story. For that reason, and because I hoped readers would not only find the book enjoyable but also might learn something, I tried to be as transparent as possible. I included many source notes and bibliographic entries, and was aided by an extremely dedicated and talented team at Random House. Thankfully, I have had almost no complaints about mistakes.
I did, however, make some errors, and in an effort to continue with this transparency, I’m offering up a relative rarity in the world of book publishing: a correction section.
In the hardcover edition of Hard News, in the chapter “The First Signs of Scandal” (p. 105), I incorrectly wrote that one source of frustration on the job for Times national editor Jim Roberts was his testy relationship with Jon Landman. The two men, I wrote, “sat next to each other at every afternoon’s page-one meeting, but they rarely said so much as hello.” This information, which was not credited to any outside source in the notes to the hardcover edition of my book, came from a New York magazine cover story on the Blair scandal. (The relevant section of the New York article reads: “In the daily front-page meetings, Landman sits next to Jim Roberts, the national editor… Roberts never knew of Blair’s history, partly because, sources say, Landman didn’t tell him—because Roberts and Landman aren’t on speaking terms.”)
Jon Landman, who, like Jim Roberts, had been generous enough to meet with me for my project, pointed out the error. “Jim Roberts and I talk to each other all the time and have since we started at the Times within a few days of each other in 1987,” Landman wrote to me in an e-mail after reading my book. “The sit-next-to-each-other-at-the- page-1- meeting-but-are-not- on-speaking-terms canard started in some magazine during the Blair uproar…and got pumped into the Internet media bloodstream, where, through repetition, it metastasized into one of those things that everyone knows to be true.” In fact, Landman wrote, while he and Roberts are not “drinking buddies,” they are now, and have always been, on speaking terms, and have plenty of mutual trust and respect. What’s more, there are no assigned seats at the Times‘s page-one meetings. (Landman concluded his email by writing, “I thought the book captured what went on here accurately and honestly.”)
FOR THE RECORD
(Note: The correct, amended version of the text of this book appears in the paperback edition. The errors listed below are present in the hardcover edition only.)
- In “The Agenda”: It was Kevin Sack himself who suggested he write a story concerning Mario Cuomo’s convention speech; the assignment did not come from Howell Raines (p. 54).
- In “Resignation”: Clyde Haberman served as a college stringer from the City College of New York, not Columbia University (p. 131).
- In “One Week In May”: It was actually Deputy News Editor Paul Winfield, not Al Siegal, who wrote the 96-point headline—”U.S. ATTACKED”—that ran atop the Times on September 12, 2001 (pp. 158-159). (Because of this error, this bit of Times arcana is missing from the paperback edition: September 12, 2001, was only the third time in the history of the paper that such a large headline type was used. The other two times were when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon in 1969 and when President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974, a fact I learned from Ken Auletta’s New Yorker article, “The Howell Doctrine.”)
- Also in “One Week In May”: John Geddes was the deputy managing editor of the Times in the spring of 2003, not an assistant managing editor (p. 170).
- In “The Fallout”: The executive dining room of the Times is on the eleventh, not the fourteenth floor of the paper’s headquarters (p. 203). Also in “The Fallout”: Alan C. Miller and Kevin Sack shared a Pulitzer Prize for their work at the Los Angeles Times; Sack did not win that award on his own. (p. 204)
- In the first paragraph of “New Endings, Old Beginnings,” I incorrectly wrote that on the morning of June 3, Joseph Lelyveld called his old secretary and asked her if she would be available to come back to work. In fact, on June 4, the same day he began his stint as interim executive editor, Lelyveld called Diane Ceribelli, who had worked with Bill Keller when Keller was the Times‘s foreign editor, and asked her to work as his temporary assistant (p. 210).
- In “A New Team in Place”: Danny Meyer is a celebrity restaurateur, not a celebrity chef (p. 233). Also in “A New Team in Place”: Brian Gallagher, the former executive editor of USA Today, did not resign in the wake of the Jack Kelley scandal. (Editor Karen Jurgensen and managing editor for news Hal Ritter were the two top editors who resigned.) Gallagher did leave the news gathering side of the paper, and became the editor of the editorial page (237, 238).