OVERRIDE

Off the Record

The Press, the Government, and the War over Anonymous Sources

Norman Pearlstine

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Confidentiality has become a weapon in the White House’s war on the press, a war fought with the unwitting complicity of the press itself. Norman Pearlstine takes us behind the scenes of one of the most controversial courtroom dramas of our time. When Pearlstine—as editor in chief of Time Inc.—agreed to give prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald a reporter’s notes of a conversation with a “confidential source,” he was vilified for betraying the freedom of the press. But Pearlstine shows that “Plamegate” was not the clear case it seemed to be. In his “vigorously written” inside story (The Washington Post), Pearlstine daringly challenges the conventional wisdom that freedom of the press is an absolute.

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Preface
 
Before he was a businessman, Time Warner Inc. CEO Dick Parsons was a lawyer, and a very good one. So it was with mixed emotions that I met him and nine other Time Warner officers and attorneys the morning of October 20, 2004, to discuss contempt citations against Time Inc. and Matthew Cooper, a reporter for Time magazine. Parsons, who had assisted Rudy Giuliani on complex libel and First Amendment cases when they were young lawyers at the white-shoe New York firm Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, understood the issues. That was a plus. But his strongly held views were a
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REVIEWS

Praise for Off the Record

“Indispensable . . . All students or practitioners of journalism should be required to read Off the Record.” —Richard Holbrooke
 
“This is a brutally honest, tough, savvy, and absolutely riveting book . . . A provocative analysis of a topic critical to the future of journalism and democracy.” —Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute

“Norman Pearlstine pulls no punches on either journalism or law in this fascinating book.” —Anthony Lewis, longtime New York Times columnist

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Norman Pearlstine

  • Norman Pearlstine, editor in chief of Time Inc. from 1995 to 2005, was previously the managing editor of The Wall Street Journal. He trained as a lawyer before making his career as a journalist. He was just named chief content officer of Bloomberg L.P.
  • Norman Pearlstine Michael O'Neill
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Off the Record

The Press, the Government, and the War over Anonymous Sources

Norman Pearlstine

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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