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April 23, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

When two years ago former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller heard that media writer Brian Stelter was planning to write a book about the network morning talk show wars, he said his “obvious question” was “What’s up with that?” In a Sunday Times magazine column for the newspaper, he recounted the times that reporters had come to his office to request a leave of absence to write a book. “I patiently explain that book-writing is agony — slow, lonely, frustrating work that, unless you are a very rare exception, gets a lukewarm review (if any), reaches a few thousand people and lands on a remaindered shelf at Barnes & Noble.” Still, he remarked, they are not discouraged. After all, Keller wrote in a column, books are still “a credential, a trophy, a pathway to Charlie Rose and Morning Joe, to conferences and panels that Build Your Brand, to speaking fees and writing assignments. After Brian’s book, he will be an even more stellar Stelter.” Well, hold on. Stelter’s book, as it turns out, has not even garnered a positive review in the New York Times. A critique farmed out to Ed Bark, a TV columnist for the Dallas Morning News, dismisses Stelter’s Top of the Morning as “a breezy read with more than a little overblown prose, some of it just plain silly.” Bark writes condescendingly that “Stelter is just 27, so there’s ample time really to get the hang of this.” That is, if his editor grants him time off to write another book.