Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Monday, October 16, 2006

David Carr on Bob Woodward


A Reporter Who Scoops His Own Paper - New York Times: The actual journalistic accomplishment in State of Denial is less than grand. It took him three books to arrive at a conclusion thousands of basement-bound bloggers suggested years ago: that the Bush administration is composed of people who like war, don't seem to be very good at it and have been known to turn the guns on each other. Such an epiphany doesn't seem to reflect a reporter who had rarefied access....

One of Mr. Woodward’s chief discoveries was that Donald H. Rumsfeld was not the asset that he first described him as. In “Bush at War” in 2002, Mr. Rumsfeld was described as “handsome, intense, well educated with an intellectual bend, witty with an infectious smile.” In “Plan of Attack” in 2004, he was a leader whose “way was clear, and he was precise about it.” In “State of Denial,” he is a turf-obsessed control freak whose “micromanaging was almost comic.”

Given Mr. Woodward’s tendency to fill his books with kitchen-sink detail, he maintained that the seeds of dysfunction were there to see in his previous two books. But Mr. Woodward’s time spent living in the treetops seems to have blinded him to the fact that the forest below was on fire...


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