Janet Cooke is 66

April 15, 1981

“Jimmy’s World” was in essence a fabrication. I never encountered or interviewed an 8-year-old heroin addict…I apologize to my newspaper, my profession, the Pulitzer board and all seekers of the truth. Today, in facing up to the truth, I have submitted my resignation.

Janet Cooke

In the spring of 1981, Janet Cooke received journalism’s ultimate accolade, a Pulitzer for “Jimmy’s World” which had been a front-page feature in The Washington Post the previous September. It was beautifully written at over 2000 words. It caused D.C. …


Human Rights Watch: Israel Commits Crimes Against Humanity

This piece appeared on April 27, 2021in The Forward. I am posting it here to reach what I expect is another readership. It raises questions that only will be answered over time. I say without reservation that I am a supporter of Israel, not what it is, but what I would like it to be. And, I feel the same way about the United States.

Human Rights Watch, the world’s preeminent monitor of how governments treat people within their borders, has found that Israelis are guilty of apartheid.

This is far more…


Walter Mondale who died yesterday at 93 achieved a remarkable goal for a career in politics. He made it through untarnished from his time in the Senate, as an influential Vice-President to Jimmy Carter, as a singularly unsuccessful presidential candidate against Ronald Reagan in 1984, who still made history by choosing Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, as Ambassador to Japan and Elder Statesman. I watched Carter and Mondale at an event at the Carter Center two years ago. Their bodies had aged, but their minds and wits were on display. Mondale, in his final note to staff over the…


The (Glorious) Story of Magazines

It is routine now to declare legacy institutions as in irreversible decline or already dead. I could have called this piece some variant of “The End of Magazines” because so many of them have been eviscerated as readers and advertisers abandoned the printed pages for the internet versions.

A decade ago, I wrote about finding the first issue of Esquire from 1933 in an attic box at home. I praised its glossy elegant look, and its contributors, among others, Hemingway, Ring Lardner, Dashiell Hammett, and cartoons, I wrote, with “shapely showgirls in lingerie.” It was…


April 15, 1981

“Jimmy’s World” was in essence a fabrication. I never encountered or interviewed an 8-year-old heroin addict…I apologize to my newspaper, my profession, the Pulitzer board and all seekers of the truth. Today, in facing up to the truth, I have submitted my resignation.

Janet Cooke

In the spring of 1981, Janet Cooke received journalism’s ultimate accolade, a Pulitzer for “Jimmy’s World” which had been a front-page feature in The Washington Post the previous September. It was beautifully written at over 2000 words. It caused D.C. …


April 15, 1981

“Jimmy’s World” was in essence a fabrication. I never encountered or interviewed an 8-year-old heroin addict…I apologize to my newspaper, my profession, the Pulitzer board and all seekers of the truth. Today, in facing up to the truth, I have submitted my resignation.

Janet Cooke

In the spring of 1981, Janet Cooke received journalism’s ultimate accolade, a Pulitzer for “Jimmy’s World” which had been a front-page feature in The Washington Post the previous September. It was beautifully written at over 2000 words. It caused D.C. …


It Was “The World’s Greatest Newspaper”

What started in mid-March as a very long shot at saving the Tribune company from the predators at Alden Capitol has taken on impressive momentum. Stewart Bainum of Maryland opened by putting up $100 million to make the Baltimore Sun a non-profit. Then Hansjorg Wyss, a billionaire, committed another $100 million, specifically to acquire the Chicago Tribune. And Mason Slaine of Florida, already a minor owner of the Tribune Company, said his goal was to acquire the Florida newspapers in the group. With that much in hand, it would doubtless be possible to finance a total bid larger than Alden’s…


It Was The “Worlds Greatest Newspaper”

The Chicago Tribune aka WGN or the “voice of the Midwest” is now in the hands of Alden Capital, the outfit that has been buying newspapers across the country essentially to destroy them.

Their profit motive is reprehensible. There are better ways to get rich than diminishing an essential piece of democracy, accountability, and sports coverage, for instance.

Now that Alden has secured full control of the Tribune Company, the depleted descendent of a once formidable enterprise, it will have its way with newspapers like the Tribune, the New York Daily News, the Orlando…


On August 5, 1982, as the Washington Post correspondent in London, I became, we asserted, the “first” American reporter to have a full interview — on the record — with Prince Charles. His son and heir, William, had just been born. That topic and Diana were off limits. The royal couple was at their peak of popularity around the world. None of the stresses and tragedy that would follow were anywhere apparent.

When the interview was published in the Post later than month, the British press covered it extensively. In nationwide billboards, the Sunday Mirror called it “amazing” and paid…


Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Here is an excerpt from An Especially Good View: Watching History Happen about Jordan’s work with PublicAffairs on his memoir, Vernon Can Read and a follow-up book Make it Plain.

Wherever Vernon Jordan happened to be was memorable. His presence and his charisma were extraordinary. He was a stellar figure in the Washington and New York orbits he inhabited for decades. What made him different from other personages of the era was that he was so very proud and aware of all that it meant to be Black, his family heritage and his role in the Civil Rights movement. When…

Peter Osnos

Founder in 1997 of PublicAffairs, he is the author of “An Especially Good View: Watching History Happen” to be published in June.

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