"I must apologize to you," wrote a high-level executive at a very large publishing concern, "My impression, formed in most part from reading PW and from talking with other people who also read PW, is that you sued Random House. I never had any idea that they first filed suit against you and were now hounding you to pay their legal fees fore doing so.
"Seth Mnookin has done the entire industry a great service with his Vanity Fair piece which has actually dug beneath the surface and exposed some facts that I am sure Random House would prefer to have remained buried. I read his book on Jayson Blair and found it the only truly credible and complete account of that debacle at the New York Times.
"I am also impressed with the courage that David Morrell displayed in coming forward. My impression is that other authors have not lent you much by the way of support.
"It seems to me that you should consider writing a book on this entire affair," the writer continued. "There certainly seems to be more than enough material. You have set a good example for your son."
My response ewas:
No apologies necessary. At least not from you.
Yes, I am grateful for David's support, one of a very few in the trade who has stood with me from the beginning. I am outlining a book, probably with an attorney as co-author. As for Publisher's Weekly, it's a sad given that most trade publications -- regardless of their market segment -- are captives of the industry they cover. There are notable exceptions, but Publisher's Weekly is not one of those.
As for my son and daughter, regardless of how the fee demand goes, they have learned that it is important to put principal before material things and money. They can understand directly a little bit of the real-life meaning of Rosa Parks and the rallying cry of the Montgomery bus boycott that:"It is better to walk in dignity than ride in shame."
It is important for them to learn that there are some battles worth fighting no matter how bad the outcome may be. And good outcomes are never assured. Sometimes justice is done and sometimes not.
The rich and the poor all eventually die, but dignity lives on. And wealth never confers dignity on its owner.