The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Thursday, 25 May 2006]

Review: Hard News

Hard News: Twenty-one Brutal Months at The New York Times and How They Changed the American Media tells the story of how managerial dysfunction allowed reporter Jayson Blair to lie and plagiarize his way up the career ladder at The New York Times, and in the process deal a massive blow to the paper’s credibility.

While the purpose of the book is to explain how Blair’s misconduct managed to go undetected for as long as it did, he turns out to be a minor character, the troubled sociopath whose deeds brought a mighty institution to its knees, but who would not have been able to do what he did in a less dysfunctional setting.

The real story is about executive editor Howell Raines, and how his authoritarian (to put it mildly) leadership style created an atmosphere of fear, silence, and favoritism that provided a perfect opportunity for a character like Blair to exploit.

The hubris and arrogance exposed in Hard News is worthy of a Greek tragedy, and underlines how even an institution like The New York Times, with all the raw talent and dedication on hand, can be brought dangerously off-course by a single individual.

The book is well-written and moves along at a brisk space, painting the characters involved with vivid strokes.

Recommended reading not just for news junkies, but for anybody with an interest in business and leadership.

« New family member


Enjoy the ten latest posts!

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice

Impressions moving from an Apple Watch Series 3 to Series 5

Is there reason to upgrade from a 3 to a 5?

Plans are worthless, but planning is everything

Often injustice lies in what you aren’t doing, not only in what you are doing

Die in a ditch

After all these years, Nic still can’t understand the American attitude to healthcare.

The big thieves hang the little ones

Book roundup, part 29

A sci-fi and fantasy heavy installment that includes The Valedictorian of Being Dead, The Mastermind, Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, Tiamat’s Wrath, The Raven Tower, The Liberation, The Light Brigade and Cryptonomicon.

Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable

Book roundup, part 28

Includes The Incomplete Book of Running, Aching God, The Murderbot Diaries, Lies Sleeping, The Consuming Fire, and Rendezvous with Rama.

Las Vegas trip report

Did you know Las Vegas is kind of nutty?