Risen’s Book Unseen by Editors

The NYO’s Gabriel Sherman has an interesting scoop today: The New York Times wiretapping bombshell, a centerpiece of James Risen‘s new book, was published without editors getting a chance to read the national security expert’s manuscript.

“Through several months in late 2005, Mr. Risen and bureau chief Phil Taubman had clashed over whether Times editors would get a preview of the book’s closely guarded contents, sources said. It was not until Dec. 27–11 days after the wiretapping story had run–that Mr. Risen relented and allowed Mr. Taubman to see the manuscript. Mr. Risen insisted that senior editors who viewed the pre-publication copy sign nondisclosure agreements and agree not to discuss the book’s contents,” Sherman writes.

The whole debacle, including the year-long delay in publishing the story in the first place, has left Risen’s relationship with the paper’s chiefs strained. Sherman says that Risen–whose scoop was one of the biggest of the year–may be soon returning to the Los Angeles Times, which even with the recent buyouts (which yesterday cost the paper veteran scribes Ed Chen and Warren Vieth), maintains one of the largest bureaus in D.C.