David E. McCraw thoughtfully (and entertainingly) addresses this state of affairs as he takes us behind the scenes of the venerable (or failing, depending on your perspective) New York Times. A self-professed 'raving moderate,' McCraw is in prime position to provide this backstage view as he draws equally on his experience as a writer and a lawyer. He excels at both, explaining legal issues in lay terms and unspooling the stories that propel the book ... McCraw is rightly proud of his role in defending The Times in so many controversies. But there is also a whiff of helplessness in his telling about the degradation of truth and of people’s trust in the press, neither of which is really a matter of law or legal policy ... occasional and understandable bouts of pessimism aside, Truth in Our Times is not dire. It is spirited and hopeful and even, at times, lighthearted. It is, in a way, a love letter to the First Amendment. McCraw captures the mood best in one early sentence: 'It was a hell of a time to be a lawyer for The New York Times.' It sure was.
McCraw colors his legalese with wit and levity ... Laws regarding leaks, libel, and Freedom of Information Act requests are explained thoroughly, with McCraw believing 'there was still something right about a system where you had a chance to stand up to your government in a court of law.' News junkies will relish the insider access.