What Have You Done for Me Lately? The Ins and Outs of New York City Politics

What Have You Done for Me Lately? The Ins and Outs of New York City Politics

What Have You Done for Me Lately? The Ins and Outs of New York City Politics

What Have You Done for Me Lately? The Ins and Outs of New York City Politics

Excerpt

This is the story of New York politics as I know it--the result of almost forty years exposure to it. Very little of the story will be found in the newspaper clippings, even my own. People inevitably will ask why I did not write it all as news at the time it happened. The answer lies in any one of three reasons: either I did not know what was going on; or the pattern of events was not clear enough for informed interpretation; or the part that I did know and did not report was obtained in confidence, from which I now feel released by the tolling of the years.

The men in government and politics who are or ought to be news sources hesitate to bare their real thinking or record their in-the-room conversations for publication while an issue is current. They like the privilege of privacy for themselves and hate to violate it even for an opponent. The linen, clean or dirty, should not be washed in public. When they trust a reporter, they will tell him much in confidence, imposing limits on the parts he may use.

The reporter learns to be wary of too much in confidence. It can cramp his style, preventing him from using the story even after it comes to him from another direction. Yet in the course of relations with his news sources, he cannot avoid be-

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