The New York Times hires a fabulous fabulist

Simply The Best

by digby

A while back I wrote about the recent media tour of James B Stewart, the author a recent book called Tangled Web: How American Society is Drowning in Lies about the culture of lying in America. I commented because this is a person who knows a lot about lies since his book Blood Sport was filled with them. I quoted this passage from Conason and Lyons' The Hunting of the President:

[Anthony] Lewis compared D'Amato's performance to that of Senator Joseph R McCarthy during the anti-communist witch hunts of fifties. But Lewis noted one major difference. "On Whitewater the press seemed all too eager an accomplice of the accusers...

Still other celebrated journalists continued to predict the first lady's probable indictment as the election year began, most notably Pulitzer Prize winning author James B Stewart. Published by Simon and Shuster in 1996 to the accompaniment of a multimedia publicity campaign, Stewart's book Blood Sport claims to be the inside story of "the president and first lady as they really are." Set forth as a sweeping narrative, it includes dramatized scenes and imaginary dialog purporting to represent the innermost thoughts of individuals whom the author had in some cases never met, much less interviewed.

"Scenes that Mr Stewart could never have observed first hand," complained New York Times reviewer Michiko Kakutani, "are recounted from an omniscient viewpoint. Mr. Stewart rarely identifies the sources for such scenes not does he take into account the subjectivity and oftens self-serving nature of memory. The reader never knows whether the quotes Mr Stewart puts into the mouth of an individual... are from a first or second hand source."
It would appear The Times is quite forgiving of such journalistic malpractice. Perhaps the "lying epidemic" has becomes so pervasive they don't even care anymore:

Mr. Stewart will take the slot vacated by Joe Nocera, who joined the Times Op-Ed page last month.

In a memo to the staff, Larry Ingrassia, business editor of The Times, summed up Mr. Stewart’s credentials, writing, “Jim is one of the best in the business.”

Mr. Stewart shared a Pulitzer for explanatory reporting in 1988 when he was a reporter at The Wall Street Journal for his coverage with Daniel Hertzberg of Martin Siegel, an investment banker charged with insider trading, and the immediate aftermath of the stock market crash of Oct. 19, 1987. He was named page one editor of The Journal in 1988 and stayed with the paper until 1992 when he left to help found SmartMoney...

James B. Stewart, a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter and author of several best-sellers on the business world, will become a columnist for the Business Day section of The New York Times, the paper announced on Tuesday.

They mention his books about Milkin and Disney back in the 80s. Oddly no mention of Blood Sport.

He should have a lot to add to the coverage. You won't know if it's made up or not, but it's sure to be entertaining.

h/t to attaturk