What’s up with our corporate cousins Harper Collins? And author Ron Suskind? This is really odd…: Prior to publication, it is routine for publishers to send anchors copies of the author’s book so that the anchor can prepare for an interview with the author after the book comes out. I read the books of the authors I interview. With the advance copy comes an agreement to embargo the contents until publication date. That is routine. Author Ron Suskind has a new book out Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington and the Education of a President. I asked one of my producers to do the routine – get the book and we would agree to embargo until the book comes out. What happened next was not routine and I think peculiar.
The producer told me that he contacted the publisher, our corporate cousins Harper Collins, for a book and received back that they would give us an advance copy but in exchange demanded that we agree not to contact anyone in the book about the book AFTER publication. Really? Not contact the people quoted? Or written about? What are they afraid of? That we will fact check the book? Well now, of course I am suspicious… what are they afraid of? And of course I will not sign any agreement like this. I am not going to be censored or hoodwinked.
What I also wonder is whether other news organizations or anchors DID agree to this. I don’t know what was asked of others. Maybe they were offered a different embargo agreement? I would love to know.