It was with delight that I saw that Bob Woodward had another book coming out, because it allows me to revive one of my favorite storylines: His near-total scoopability. This will be his third embargoed Bob Woodward book to come out just over three years, and I'm betting that it will be the third Bob Woodward book to be totally scooped by a national publication days before the official release.Sept. 2006:
Poised to unveil the contents of his new book on Sunday with a triple rollout--"60 Minutes" interview and excerpts in The Washington Post and Newsweek--Woodward woke up this morning to see the highlights splattered on the front page of the New York Times.
...And how did the Times's Julie Bosman score the super-secret book, "State of Denial"? This is fiendishly clever: She bought one at retail price.
Back in 2006, this rang a bell...because the exact same thing had happened in 2005. On July 1, 2005, I wrote at FishbowlNY:
Today the Washington Post got totally scooped - again - on Deep Throat, this time by USA Today which scored a copy of Woodward's rushed-to-print Deep Throat memoir, "The Secret Man" and happily dishes its now-semi-secret details. The book is - was - set for release on July 6th. The worst part: USA Today didn't even get it by subterfuge or cool cloak-and-dagger secret book-getting ways. They bought it, at a bookstore Fairfax County, Va., that put it on sale early.
I wrote "again" because back then Woodward and the Post had just been scooped spectacularly by Vanity Fair (hint: "I'm The Guy They Called Deep Throat"), though that, at least, had not been purchased at the local bookseller.
So: Good luck to Simon & Schuster on this whole embargo thing — so far, it's working great! Bookstore denizens of the Beltway, keep your eyes peeled.
NYT's Secret To Hot Scoops: Idiot Bookstores [ETP]