Yet another bogus NYT story:
Edmund Andrews, Times financial reporter, is promoting a new book claiming to detail his personal journey through the dark underside of easy mortgages and financial distress.
The NY Times gave him space in the NY Times magazine to talk up his story and his book. But missing from the story is any mention of the fact that his wife has filed for personal bankruptcy not once, but twice. For a story about personal finances, that is a staggering omission, leading to some absurd phoniness in the Andrews tale.
How did the book happen? Clark Hoyt, the NYT ombudsman, explains:
In the fall of 2007, Andrews went to his editors with a book proposal. He wanted to tell how the subprime mortgage crisis happened — greedy lenders, regulators who looked the other way and people like himself who made foolish choices.
Though the timing was terrible for The Times — Andrews was the main Washington reporter on the story — he burned to illuminate a national crisis through his personal experience. And he had another strong reason: He needed money.
“I was desperate,” he said. He still is. Seven months behind on his mortgage, he may lose his home unless “Busted,” which comes out this week, is a hit.
So the book arose in circumstances that maximize the likelihood of an ethical breach, and was nevertheless okayed by the editors. Thanks for the explanation. I have to say, Hoyt has a unique ability to write defenses of the New York Times that make it seem even worse than before.