NYT's Nocera speaks about new book, business journalism
New York Times business columnist Joe Nocera was interviewed by Jessica Pressler of New York magazine about his new book with Bethany McLean called “All the Devils are Here” as well as his opinions on business journalism and his recent ethical transgression in which he wrote a column about a lawsuit where his fiancee’s law firm was representing one side of the case.
Here is an excerpt:
But it’s kind of true. Speaking of Sorkin, he kind of seems to be the alpha dog over at the Times Business section lately, what with the new enhanced DealBook and everything. Are you ever like, “Argh, ‘Marcia Marcia Marcia’ ” about him?
Are we still on the record here?
Yes, of course.
I’m a huge Sorkin fan. He’s a friend of mine. I think DealBook makes perfect sense as a component for Bizday, and I think it’s an important part of it. But you know, the newspaper, Bizday itself, is not being subsumed inside DealBook or anything remotely close to that.
Speaking of annoyances, the public editor gave you a hard time recently over a conflict of issue in a column you wrote last month [about the board of Hewlett-Packard’s hiring of a CEO who was allegedly involved in intellectual property theft from Oracle at his previous job]. Your fiancée is the director of communications at the law firm representing Oracle [Boies, Schiller & Flexner] …
Okay, first of all, she didn’t do anything wrong. She’s the one who’s gotten dragged through the mud here, and it’s not fair. Second, well, you know, I did make a mistake. There’s no question that I made a mistake, and you know, I deserve to get twenty lashes for it. I perhaps did not deserve HP’s directors spending gobs of money trying to dig up dirt on me, but um, that’s the way it goes, apparently, when you write something the HP board of directors doesn’t like. But you know, I made a mistake. I had a conflict that I didn’t realize, and I should have bent over backwards to find out if David Boies was involved in this case. Which I did not do. So yeah, I done bad.
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