Hard Feelings: Reporting on the Pols, the Press, the People and the City

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Random House Publishing Group, Aug 3, 2011 - Political Science - 320 pages
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One of America’s leading reporters collects his most important, entertaining, and enlightening articles, explaining how and why he wrote them.
Hard Feelings represents more than five years of Ken Auletta’s work for The Village Voice, New York magazine, the Daily News, Esquire, and The New Yorker. During that period he won a loyal following and established a reputation as the rare journalist who covers both politicians and the government. He covered the news and made the news with his famous and controversial New Yorker profile of Mayor Ed Koch and his startling exposé of lawyer Roy Cohn in Esquire. These pieces also display his versatility—hard, investigative reporting as well as precise, thoughtful essays—with subjects ranging from the ambitions of Ted Kennedy to the tribulations of Jimmy Carter, the maneuvers of a local politician to the struggles of an embattled high school principal.
One of Auletta’s chief concerns is the press itself: how the former publisher of the New York Post managed the news; how media expert David Garth manipulates it; how Tom Brokaw became a victim of it; and how passion for scandal and easy cynicism threaten it. The postscripts he has written for this volume address many of the central issues of journalism. A case in point is Auletta’s own use of controversial taps revealing Mayor Ed Koch’s private feelings about relations between blacks and Jews; another is his examination of the questionable coverage of Nelson Rockefeller’s death. Does a public figure have a right to privacy? Is there such a thing as too much press access? To whom does the reporter owe allegiance? What are the ethics of journalism?

In his stories and his second thoughts on them, Ken Auletta offers a provocative analysis of how a reporter works, views his profession, and evaluates his achievements with intelligence and feeling—hard feelings.

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PART I        
Ed Koch
The Legal Executioner
The Last Angry Principal
Guile Under Pressure
Defender of the Faith
PART II        
Maybe I Am a Silly Person
The Boys on the Bus1976
Covering the CampaignCynically
Tom Brokaw Becomesa Press Victim
Would You Lie Steal orCheat to Get a Story?
Where Do You Draw the Line?
That Queasy Feeling

Jimmy Carters Courtiers
Is Jimmy Carter Weird?
Unmasking Hugh Carey
Carey the Bull Artist
A Confused DirectorMeets a Confused President
Carterizing Jerry Brown
Jimmys Foreign PolicyAint So Bad
The Words ofChairman Teddy
Cowboy Connally Takeson the Middle East
Exit KissingerEnter Peter Pan
A Respectable Bigot
David The Boss Garth
Lonely Is the Loser
The Last Liberal
The Proper Etiquetteto Seduce the Press
PART III        
El Cids Final Campaign
The Dumbest City Pol
Falling Out of Lovewith Mario
Learning to Govern
To Be Heard Commit Suicide
A Tale of Two Cities
If New York Went Bankrupt?
Passing the Reality Test
Babes in Bureaucracyland
Hard Feelings

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About the author (2011)

Ken Auletta has been the "Annals of Communication" columnist for The New Yorker since 1992. He is the author of seven previous books, including three national bestsellers. In ranking him as America's premier media critic, the Columbia Journalism Review concluded, "No other reporter has covered the new communications revolution as thoroughly as has Auletta."  He has written for various newspapers and magazines, and appeared regularly as a television interviewer and analyst. He started writing for The New Yorker in 1977.  He grew up in Coney Island and now lives in New York City with his wife and daughter.

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