In his post about Tim Russert, Richard Bradley notes that one of the ways Russert and NBC are sliming Arianna is to quote Bare Knuckles and Back Rooms, a book by Ed Rollins.
When he was an editor at George Magazine, Bradley writes, he published a story by the ghostwriter for that book, who alleged that Rollins "spins, inflates and falsifies material."
I'd like to confirm that ghostwriter's testimony.
I was probably the first writer approached by Rollins to be his collaborator.
Rollins and my agent and I had a fancy lunch, during which he --- correctly --- tried to sell me on doing the book by telling me some just-type-them-and-the-public-will-go-mad stories.
One story was about his experiences with a close friend of mine. After lunch, I called my friend to share the amusing connection.
My friend was not amused --- Rollins' account of their time together was, he said, untrue on every factual point.
I decided that Rollins was a fabulist and declined to write the book.
A few years later, Rollins and I met again. "You would have made $300,000," he told me.
"Not enough for writing fiction," I said.
He looked at me as if I were mad to care about what appears under my byline. The only thing that mattered for him: the money. One might say the same about Russert and his interest in cashing a large check to bloviate about something fictional for him --- ethics.