Ouch: Book About TV’s Morning Wars Gets Reamed by The New York Times — Even Though the Writer Works for The Times

Apr 23, 2013  •  Post A Comment

The New York Times panned a new book by one of its own reporters, Brian Stelter, who wrote about the morning television wars in "Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV," according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The story reports: "Stelter is a brazenly ambitious 27-year-old who has harnessed the power of new media so efficiently, it once led veteran Times columnist David Carr to call him ‘a robot assembled to destroy me.’"

The review is written by Ed Bark, a former television critic for the Dallas Morning News, with the newspaper going by its standard operating procedure of hiring an outside critic to review a book by one of its employees, The Reporter points out.

Here’s how Bark’s review in The Times starts out:

"Brian Stelter’s book on the nefarious network morning show wars ends up being like a breakfast made not quite to order.

"The eggs over easy have one hard yolk, and the bacon’s a little limp. The toast is well-buttered but burned, and the coffee’s short on heat. Edible? Yes. Fulfilling? Not quite."

The review, which also points out that Stelter is "just 27," calls the book "plain silly" with "more than a little overblown prose." It also compares the book to Bill Carter’s 1994 book "The Late Shift," with Stelter’s book coming off worse for the comparison. Carter is also a New York Times writer.

Bark writes, "What Mr. Carter had that Mr. Stelter doesn’t is an economy of words, grander Hollywood stages and (as Mr. Carter noted in his acknowledgments) the full cooperation of the star players."

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