Honesty In Column-Writing (Brady on Carr)

Did Forbes.com columnist James Brady perhaps just mean to think what he actually wrote?

Brady is disappointed with Night of the Gun, the book by the New York Times’ David Carr (or at least Brady’s disappointed with the excerpt he’s read; he’ll not read the book itself, he says).

Why? Brady found the excerpt “an exercise in self-indulgent narcissism,” “a waste—of talent, energy and professional competence.” Seems Brady anticipated not some downer of a story of a drug-dealing and drug-taking father of twin infants who lived to tell (and then some) but rather “a terrific account” of Carr’s career:

…how he got the job; and his take on big media, new and old, the moguls and prima donnas, the tycoons and talents, the working journalists and the media conglomerates, the sycophants and PR people and hustlers, the publishers and editors, the magazine empires and the networks, the talk show hosts and the radio talkers, the deal makers and the takeover artists.

Writes Brady of His Vision of What Carr’s Book Might Have Been: “What a glorious read that would be, and what a column or two I could get out of it.”

Imagine if other columnists were so honest. Yesterday’s Maureen Dowd column in the New York Times might have included a line like:

What a glorious narrative, this Obama “presumptive nominee”/”presumptuous nominee” thing. What a column or ten I will get out of it!

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.