PR updates: NPR, Stanford Review, WNYC, plus NYT Mag

- On the Media interview with Bob Garfield, here, about the media-politics of health care reform. Back in 1995, I wrote this Atlantic article about the way the Clinton health-care proposal fell apart -- including the damaging role played by a hugely misleading article by Elizabeth "Betsy" McCaughey. Interview covers whether it could happen again.

- Online Q-and-A with the Stanford Review's Bellum project, here.

- Interview last week about China with Brian Lehrer of WNYC, here. These all for the record.

Also for the record, let me join others congratulating the Atlantic's Megan McArdle for what she has reported about Edmund Andrews' gripping account of his descent into deadbeat hell.

Having had some experience with writing confessional, "here's a mistake I made, and what I learned from it" articles, I understand the fundamental premise of the tell-all bargain. You're asking for the reader's trust and, if not forgiveness or respect, at least forbearance because of your brave candor in facing unflattering truths. But in those tell-all circumstances, you really do have to tell it all. There would ordinarily be no reason whatsoever for Andrews to embarrass his wife by talking about her past financial problems (two declarations of bankruptcy) -- unless he undertook to write a warts-and-all book about how his household got into financial trouble. This is also connected to the first item, above, about the health care debate. For all the mixed effects of the internet on mainstream journalism, there is a fast-feedback loop now that can correct errors that would otherwise have stood.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.


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