Today, I finished up Ken Auletta’s Backstory. I should probably start off by saying that the title to this book is somewhat of a misnomer; it’s not a story, it’s a collection of previously published essays on the media. I was hoping and expecting some cogent media criticism (along the lines of Howard Kurtz). What I got instead was banal puff pieces about New York journalism cloaked in vaguely hard hitting phraseology. Not even Fox News could raise Auletta’s ire beyond a mildly disapproving rebuke.
For a collection of essays published in the New Yorker (as well as one or two other places), quite a few of the pieces could have stood a bit more stringent editing, both for grammer as well as for coherence. I would not recommend this particular book.