Truth in Our Times: Inside the Fight for Press Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts
In October 2016, when Donald Trump's lawyer demanded that The New York Times retract an article focused on two women that accused Trump of touching them inappropriately, David McCraw's scathing letter of refusal went viral ...more
The war over press freedom was not going to be a fight about changing America’s laws. It was going to be a fight about the very nature of truth…I should have seen it coming. In a decade and a half at The Times I had had my moments with Trump and his lawyers. I knew how they played the game.All the News That’s Fit to Print (which should be changed, BTW, to add “or Post” or substitute “Fit to Run”to accommodate the fact that materials these days might be posted without ever being actually ...more
The book ...more
Reading this book is every bit as fun as finding oneself under the influence…of a ...more
This book is so perfectly timely and edifying, without at all being didactic.
It reminded me ...more
On the day I finished reading this ARC, the President of the United States called the New York Times an “enemy of the people,” and the Times itself carried an article about a reporter being detained and kicked out of Egypt. Additionally, the President tweeted support of a lawsuit against the Washington Post. And a supreme court judges wants the court to re-evaluates the Times ...more
That would be a mistake.
What McCraw has written instead is an informative, enlightening, nuanced, and entertaining description of the role of the First Amendment in our government and culture. As an attorney, McCraw recognizes ...more
But I think anyone who cares about journalism, history or the First Amendment will like it too. It's a concise, well-written and even witty account of some recent dramatic events -- #MeToo coverage, the uncharted territory of Trump's election and presidency, the kidnapping of various Times journalists -- putting them in a legal context and a coherent framework.
I'm glad David McCraw wrote this -- it's interesting now, ...more
Times are changing and along with it is the ego of the all mighty white male who feels perched high above far superior and much more intellectual than ever before.
This is the plight of the white supremacist and the white rage that is sweeping the nation from coast to coast emboldened by one leader who demands loyalty and expects invisibility as being above the law.
The rules don't apply to malignant narcissists after all I should know I ...more
While the book does spend a good portion discussing The Times versus Trump, ...more
Some books are meant to inform and some are meant to influence the reader’s opinions on specific subjects. Some are meant to do both. This book is meant to influence the reader’s opinions, only, in my opinion. The title pretty much indicates that from the get-go. There is a basic premise presented and that is that freedom of the press is ...more
The war over press freedom was not going to be a fight about changing America's laws. It was going to be a fight about the very nature of truth, about who could capture the hearts and minds of the American people, about who got heard and who got believed. [p. 26]
It doesn't really matter how much freedom journalists have if no one believes them. A discredited press plays no role in shaping democracy and holding power accountable. [p. 275]
President Donald Trump's authoritarian instincts have ...more
The author, David E. McCraw is a good lawyer to have at your side. When you work for the paper. There are many dangerous situations you may ...more
First, I have to say that I’m writing this review from the perspective of both a non-The Times subscriber and a high school student in Hong Kong, who is very likely not the target audience of the book.
With that being said, you may wonder why I requested this review copy in the first place. I went into this book hoping that I can learn more about the law on the freedom of media, which is an increasingly ...more
David McCraw recounts his experiences as the top newsroom lawyer for the New York Times during the most turbulent era for journalism in generations.
In October 2016, when Donald Trump's lawyer demanded that The New York Times retract an article focused on two women that accused Trump of touching them inappropriately, David McCraw's scathing letter of refusal went viral and he became a hero of press freedom everywhere. But as you'll see in Truth in Our Times, for the top newsroom lawyer at the
David McGraw, the lawyer for the New York Times, has written an important book about a newspaper’s right to report the truth at a time that Trump rants about “fake news” and “ the failing New York Times.” It’s a good complement to “Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters” by Alan Rusbridger, former editor of the Guardian. Like so many others, I am a life long reader of the New York Times and it has ...more
Stories evolve, crises unfold. The moment calls for more than a risk management lawyer is trained to undertake. No choice but to tackle it all as best he can. The serious cause of fighting for the First Amendment informs the entire book. Yet tensions arise when stories must be silenced when lives are at stake as kidnapped ...more
He explains both sides of any 'leak' issue - does the public have the right to know or is the country's safety at stake? He looks at the Freedom of Information Act and how it has been used and abused by ...more
"There has never been a more important moment in history to demand that ...more
The book covers the events that have occurred during the NYT's history. But where it really shines is in describing the current battles with Donald Trump. Thank God for McCraw and the NYT, or else we might not have any freedom ...more
Everyone should read this book. Journalist are not perfect, we are human and we sometimes make mistakes. In fact, we make our mistakes in public, in writing or on video and in ways we can't hide.
The "fake-news" epithet hurts all of us who are doing just doing our jobs, whether we work for "the Bigs" or for your local news outlets.
It also hurts the ordinary people who benefit from our hard work, those who need to know the truth, to have the information ...more
He is a litigator for the NY Times -- the book covers the first three years of the Trump administration.
There are fine chapters on libel litigation (from his perspective), the beginnings of the Weinstein investigations, "fake news," an especially interesting chapter of FOIA (freedom of information). His excellent memo, written in response to a threat from Trump lawyers about the coverage of women accusing him of sexual misconduct, is included.
Very specific to these issues, ...more
The most compelling chapters were regarding Harvey Weinstein and the kidnappings in Afghanistan. They both were full of information that I did not know, and the constant challenges (and evolving job descriptions) of ...more