When Norman Podhoretz cited the Encyclopedia Judaica in the course of his book Why Are Jews Liberals, he was rewarded with a scathing, mocking, review on the front of the New York Times Sunday book section that said, "There is something a little risible about the solemnity with which Podhoretz presents encyclopedia articles as evidence of his erudition ('I relied most heavily on one of the great works of 20th-century Jewish scholarship, the Encyclopaedia Judaica')." Now the New York Times's star business reporter and columnist, Gretchen Morgenson, has acknowledged in an e-mail to an associate professor of economics at Carthage College, Ron Cronovich, that for her new book The Capitalist's Bible, "About 65% of the book is rewritten from the Encyclopedia of Capitalism, published by Facts On File in 2003 for the college library market." Ms. Morgenson's name is on the front of The Capitalist's Bible in big letters with "edited by" credit, along with the description of her as a "Pulitzer Prize Winning New York Times Journalist." The disclosure in the book that it was produced "using some rewritten text from the Encyclopedia of Capitalism" appears at the end of the index in teensy-tiny type so small that I missed it when I originally reviewed the book. And I am a careful reader. The Times, for some reason, hasn't subjected its own reporter to the treatment it gave Mr. Podhoretz.
Ms. Morgenson should probably get some credit for her candor in the email to Professor Cronovich. Still, if some corporation pulled a stunt like this, Ms. Morgenson would probably be among the first to fault them for relegating the key disclosure to the small print and the follow-up email as opposed to the front-cover, which is what most of those considering purchasing the book will see. Don't expect to see much coverage of this in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, or the Fox Business Channel, which usually scrutinize the Times, either: The Morgenson book is published by Harper Business, which, like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, and Fox, is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Keep an eye out for Ms. Morgenson's coverage of News Corp., or lack of it, in the Times in the days ahead. We stand by our orginal review of the book on the merits, but it's nice to have the additional detail on the percentage of the book that is based on the encyclopedia.