N.Y. Times 'Notable' Books List Skips Conservatives, But Promotes Times Writers

On Sunday the New York Times  released its annual year-end list of the "100 Notable Books of 2008," both fiction and non-fiction, and unsurprisingly, conservative books weren't "notable."

The 52 nonfiction selections, all reviewed favorably by the Times during 2008, included works by (my count) at least six liberal journalists from outside the paper, including Jacob Heilbrunn's "They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons," and New Yorker writer Jane Mayer's "The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals." Of the 52 books, six others were from Times writers: four from reporters, one from a columnist, and one from a magazine contributor.

The closest thing to a conservative book I could identify was "The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse" by black Stanford Law professor Richard Thompson Ford, described by the Times as a skewering of liberal sacred cows from a "humane, centrist position."

The books from Times reporters:

"Condoleezza Rice: An American Life" by Elisabeth Bumiller (reporter)

"The Night of the Gun" by David Carr (reporter)

"The House at Sugar Beach" by Helene Cooper (reporter)

"The Forever War" by Dexter Filkins (reporter)

"The Challenge: Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and the Fight Over Presidential Power" by Jonathan Mahler (magazine writer)

"Hot, Flat, and Crowded" by Thomas L. Friedman (columnist)

Absent from the list: "Bush's Law," by Justice Department reporter Eric Lichtblau, no doubt a result of my savaging of it in the New York Post. OK, maybe not.

Clay Waters's picture