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My Times: A Memoir of Dissent

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My Times: A Memoir of Dissent Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

My Times: A Memoir of Dissent is a critical look at The New York Times from the inside. John Hess worked at the paper for twenty-four years as an editor, rewrite man, foreign correspondent, investigative reporter, and food critic, from the "Fin-Biz" section to the doomed Paris -edition, to the Middle East and back. In his tenure, Hess rubbed shoulders and butted heads with some of the notable figures of journalism from the last fifty years: Cyrus Sulzberger and his cousin Punch, A.M. Rosenthal, Seymour Hersh, David Halberstam, Scotty Reston, Max Frankel, Anthony Lewis, Hodding Carter, and many others. But this isn’t a lives of the saints; reporters, to Hess’s observation, mostly churned out unambitious, unquestioning copy. And when they didn’t, editors would "fix" it. Hess’s damning conclusion:

"The Times was never ‘the greatest newspaper in the world,’ nor even very good except, like the vicar’s egg, in spots. . . . The Times succeeded because advertisers valued its readership and because readers respected its explicit commitment to integrity and its implicit role as the voice of the establishment."

Hess argues that the paper deliberately fudged its coverage of Vietnam at a crucial turn. He revisits the close association of the Sulzberger publishing family with the world leaders the newspaper purported to cover objectively. Later Hess shows that the Times was far better acquainted with the jet-set than with its neglected backyard; few at the paper in the 1970s seemed able to pick out the Bronx on a map.

My Times is not without warmth for the Good Gray Lady. And Hess notes that working for "the most influential paper in the world" gave him a platform to pursue various campaigns for justice, a few of which he recaps here.

John Hess is a veteran newspaperman and the author of Vanishing France and The Case for De Gaulle. Following his "retirement" Hess freelanced for The Nation and Grand Street, and continues his role as media watchdog with a daily spot on WBAI’s Pacifica, New York public radio.

Synopsis:

The author looks at his life and the twenty-four years he spent working at the "New York Times.".

Synopsis:

A gloves-off insider account of The New York Times by a twenty-four-year veteran reporter.

Synopsis:

My Times is a critical look at The New York Times from the inside. John Hess worked at the paper for twenty-four years as an editor, rewrite man, foreign correspondent, investigative reporter, and food critic, from New York to Paris to the Middle East and back. In his tenure Hess rubbed shoulders and butted heads with some of the notable figures of journalism from the last fifty years, including Cyrus Sulzberger and his cousin Punch, A. M. Rosenthal, Seymour Hersh, Scotty Reston, and Homer Bigart.

But this isn't a lives of the saints; reporters, to Hess's observation, mostly churned out unambitious, conformist copy, and when they didn't, editors would "fix" it. He argues that the paper deliberately fudged its coverage of Vietnam at a crucial turn. He revisits the close association of the Sulzberger publishing family with the world leaders the newspaper purported to cover objectively. Later Hess shows that the Times was far better acquainted with the jet-set than with its neglected backyard; few at the paper in the 1970s seemed able to pick out the Bronx on a map. My Times is not without warmth for the Good Gray Lady. Hess praises individual reporters and editors, and notes that working for "the most influential paper in the world" gave him a platform to pursue various campaigns for justice, a few of which he recaps here: the journalistic prairie fire he set in connection with the New York State nursing home scandal; his exposé of shenanigans at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and his revelation of corruption in several administrations at City Hall.

Synopsis:

A critical look at The New York Times from the inside. Hess was a Times reporter and editor for 24 years, rubbing shoulders and butting heads with names like Sulzberger, Rosenthal, Hersh, Halberstam, Reston, Frankel, and Lewis. He describes a newsroom culture of lassitude, sycophancy, and corporate kowtowing, argues that the paper deliberately fudged its coverage of Vietnam, and much more.

About the Author

JOHN HESS is a veteran newspaperman and the author of Vanishing France, The Case for De Gaulle, The Grand Acquisitors, and, with his wife Karen, Taste of America. After leaving the Times Hess worked in television and radio journalism, wrote a nationally syndicated column, and freelanced for The Nation and Grand Street. Today he continues his role as media watchdog with a daily spot on WBAI's Pacifica, New York public radio. He is the holder of the Ordre National de Mérite and is the winner of the Meyer Berger Award of the Columbia School of Journalism.

Table of Contents

1. Learning a trade — 2. Tyranny of the clerks — 3. Fin-biz — 4. Meet the family — 5. Clerks to the world — 6. Paris edition — 7. Tragic victory — 8. How we blew My-lai — 9. Aftermath — 10. Cyrus — 11. Sin City — 12. Kerfuffle at the Met — 13. Dining on the Times — 14. Setting a prairie fire — 15. Exit — 16. Death Watch.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781583226223
Author:
Hess, John L.
Publisher:
Seven Stories Press
Author:
Hess, John
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Mass media
Subject:
Journalists
Subject:
Editors, Journalists, Publishers
Subject:
Mass Media - General
Subject:
Journalists -- United States.
Subject:
Hess, John L
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
316
Publication Date:
September 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8.25x5.52x.76 in. .74 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Business » Communication
Business » General
History and Social Science » Journalism » Journalists
History and Social Science » Politics » General

My Times: A Memoir of Dissent New Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages Seven Stories Press - English 9781583226223 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The author looks at his life and the twenty-four years he spent working at the "New York Times.".
"Synopsis" by ,
A gloves-off insider account of The New York Times by a twenty-four-year veteran reporter.
"Synopsis" by , My Times is a critical look at The New York Times from the inside. John Hess worked at the paper for twenty-four years as an editor, rewrite man, foreign correspondent, investigative reporter, and food critic, from New York to Paris to the Middle East and back. In his tenure Hess rubbed shoulders and butted heads with some of the notable figures of journalism from the last fifty years, including Cyrus Sulzberger and his cousin Punch, A. M. Rosenthal, Seymour Hersh, Scotty Reston, and Homer Bigart.

But this isn't a lives of the saints; reporters, to Hess's observation, mostly churned out unambitious, conformist copy, and when they didn't, editors would "fix" it. He argues that the paper deliberately fudged its coverage of Vietnam at a crucial turn. He revisits the close association of the Sulzberger publishing family with the world leaders the newspaper purported to cover objectively. Later Hess shows that the Times was far better acquainted with the jet-set than with its neglected backyard; few at the paper in the 1970s seemed able to pick out the Bronx on a map. My Times is not without warmth for the Good Gray Lady. Hess praises individual reporters and editors, and notes that working for "the most influential paper in the world" gave him a platform to pursue various campaigns for justice, a few of which he recaps here: the journalistic prairie fire he set in connection with the New York State nursing home scandal; his exposé of shenanigans at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and his revelation of corruption in several administrations at City Hall.

"Synopsis" by , A critical look at The New York Times from the inside. Hess was a Times reporter and editor for 24 years, rubbing shoulders and butting heads with names like Sulzberger, Rosenthal, Hersh, Halberstam, Reston, Frankel, and Lewis. He describes a newsroom culture of lassitude, sycophancy, and corporate kowtowing, argues that the paper deliberately fudged its coverage of Vietnam, and much more.
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