Today's New York Observer reports on the curious case of NYT metro reporter Alan Feuer, who admits being slipshod with facts in his new book about (very) briefly covering the Iraq war, Over There: From the Bronx to Baghdad: Two Months in the Life of a Reluctant Reporter. He apparently never wanted to go, and doesn't actually arrive in Iraq until chapter 19. Feuer writes about estimating names and ages in his Times stories, and then fingers the editor who hired him — Jonathan Landman — for being similarly uncommitted to actual facts. That's not Landman's reputation, and the paper is distancing itself from Feuer — "In the book itself, Feuer acknowledges that he has taken liberties with his reminiscences. We very much believe that is the case," says spokeswoman Catherine Mathis.
The Observer piece also says former Baghdad bureau chief Susan Sachs was fired over her sending anonymous letters to the wives of rival NYT writers — alleging infidelities — and talks about last week's coming-out of a secret romance between former NYT executive editor Joseph Lelyveld and NYT reporter Janny Scott, who is married to New York TV news anchor Bill Ritter. Scott (and I believe Ritter, long ago) used to be reporters at the Los Angeles Times.