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Kevin M. Sullivan

The New York Times is a paper in serious decline. Beyond the war reporting of Dexter Filkins, I see no use for the paper at all. Most folks around the country, and many in the city from which it hails, understand it's a bastion of liberal bias, and that true, unbiased reporting, left the paper years ago. And, in my opinion, this is why they are in such financial trouble today.

Of course, this is not something we should be welcoming with glee, for the down-fall of a once great newspaper is nothing to laugh about. But sometimes institutions, like people, can be very slow learners.

Laura James

Hi Kevin,

I think you've got a valid viewpoint on the Times in general. I'm just very sorry and frustrated that the leading book reviewing publication has such open disdain for our favorite genre. I am sure its negative attitude has a great impact on the publishing industry; many major houses shy away from true crime altogether. Would that be the case if the Times wasn't so damn harsh on true crime? I don't think so.

Kevin M. Sullivan

Hi Laura--

I think the problem stems from how out-of-touch the Times folks really happen to be when compared to the average person on the street; excepting, of course, the above mentioned Filkins, who appears to have his head screwed on correctly, and has not allowed himself to enter (apparently) that holier-than-thou realm many folks at the paper seem to wallow in on a daily basis. That such an institution would slam the honest and hardworking endeavors of those who write true crime is utterly amazing to me.

Mardi Link

I just checked to see if the Times reviewed one of my fav true crime books of the last few years, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale. They did on July 20, 2008 and actually seemed to enjoy the book, though it wasn't the rave this title deserves imho. Still, the reviewer was Marilyn Stasio, not Janet Maslin.

Nora Rawlinson

Good catch on The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher. However, Marilyn Stasio writes for the New York Times Book Review and not for the daily Times -- the book review staffs are quite separate. I'm not sure if Laura examined the archives of both entities, or if she was focusing on the daily NYT.

Maslin is not someone to turn up her nose at potentially popular titles, so it's odd that she is so obviously annoyed in this review.

I've been hearing great things from librarians who have read the galley.


Maslin's observations of Cullen are mirrored by one of the key Columbine families involved in the tragedy. Randy Brown, whose family reported the killers many times before the shootings, has been vocal about criticizing the Cullen book.

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