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Norm Pearlstine: Turning lemons into lemonade!

Just when I was all set to write a non-Judy-Miller-related post, I saw this, from today’s Publisher’s Lunch:

Time, Inc. editor-in-chief Norman Pearlstine’s OFF THE RECORD: The Use and Misuse of Anonymous Sources, reflections in the wake of his decision to turn over White House correspondent Matt Cooper’s records regarding the Valerie Plame story to a grand jury, to Nan Talese at Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, for publication in 2007, by Lynn Nesbit at Janklow & Nesbit (NA). Pearlstine will donate his royalties to “not-for-profit organizations that support journalists and journalism.”

A few thoughts about this fortuitously-timed announcement: (1) I wonder if Matt Cooper knew about it/had anything planned himself/is nonplussed that Pearlstine’s getting the book deal out of this thing; (2) interesting how Pearlstine is re-positioning himself from onetime sellout of journalistic integrity to thoughtful authority on the vagaries of anonymous sourcing; (3) This is a Zeitgeisty book — the first, I believe, to address the conundrum of anonymous sources in the wake of the Newsweek Koran incident and the Matt n’ Judy Show. Pearlstine has beaten both Cooper and Miller to the bookshelf; and (4) re: aforementioned fortuitous timing, Judith Miller’s capitulation to negotiation with Fitzgerald is something of a vindication for Pearlstine, who was originally the only actor on the journalistic side to go over to the Dark Side. With untold revelations to come from Fitzgerald’s grand jury and the possibility of indictments at a very high level, history may yet look favorably on Pearlstine’s decision.

Update: Looks like Judy Miller does indeed have a book in the works! Arianna got the scoop: Simon & Schuster for $1.2 million, working with supereditor Alice Mayhew. Now all that’s left is to see who can get it to the bookshelves first. Norm, I’d guess you’d better start writing — I’d bet Judy has quite a head start after three months in her own private “writer’s colony.”

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