‘WSJ’ Reporter Gets Bitten by Michael Wolff

Wolf
Photo: Patrick McMullan

So, last week, Wall Street Journal media reporter Sarah Ellison scored a deal to write a book for Houghton Mifflin about the News Corp. acquisition of The Wall Street Journal. Michael Wolff, who has been working on such a book, scheduled to come out next fall, is not amused. "The problem with someone from The Wall Street Journal writing a book is that they are inevitably conflicted," he told the Post today. When we e-mailed him this morning, he was a little more snarly. "Doesn't Sara Ellison work for the guy and for the company she's proposing to write a book about?" said Wolff, whose own book, a big-picture title about Rupert Murdoch and his career, is based on extensive interviews with Murdoch. Unlike Ellison, he said, who is taking a year off to write the book, but not actually leaving the Journal, his reporting won't be compromised by worrying about his next paycheck. "How exactly [will she] do that?" he said. Ellison did not respond to requests for comment, though presumably she'd say something like, "The same way I've been covering the Dow Jones takeover for the Journal since July." There is one other thing that is potentially awkward: Ellison's editor at Houghton Mifflin told the Observer some months ago that the book would have "new reporting," which seems odd, in the same way that it was kind of odd when Washington Post editor Bob Woodward kept the fact that he had known all about Valerie Plame quiet until State of Denial came out. Anyway, let's face it: These are not the most important questions. The most important question is this: Which one of these books is going to give us a reconstructed Rupert–Wendi sex scene? Yeah. Fight over that one.

Dueling Journal-ists [NYP]