Andrew Ross Sorkin in Pissing Match with His Own NewspaperS

First Andrew Ross Sorkin pissed off Charlie Gasparino. Now it's his colleagues: Some anonymous New York Times staffers are angry at him, Keith Kelly reports, for failing to credit the newspaper's scoops in his new book, Too Big to Fail.

The background noise of all Times politics these days is no doubt are the apprehensions in the newsroom and the resentments a 32-year-old star reporter might spawn with a book deal, fancy Vanity Fair-hosted parties and frequent TV gigs while others contemplate whether to take the latest buyout offer or risk getting killed in the next round of massive layoffs at the tanking newspaper. But these sort of feuds pre-date the implosion of the news business and the crux of the issue is this:

Part of Sorkin's book focuses on an ethics waiver that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson received allowing him to work closely with Goldman Sachs' Lloyd Blankfein to bail the investment bank out. Sorkin posted a copy of the waiver, which he obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, to his web site.

Andrew Ross Sorkin in Pissing Match with His Own Newspaper

According to Kelly, some Timespersons are exercised because Sorkin failed to credit his colleagues Gretchen Morgenson and Don Van Natta, Jr., with breaking the story of the waiver in August, long before the book came out—and "some wondered if Sorkin used his star reporter status to get a peek at work compiled by his colleagues."

The peeking allegation seems to be based on the fact that Sorkin finished the book around the time that Morgenson and Van Natta broke the story of the waiver, so Sorkin must have somehow gotten a look at it ahead of time, right? It's apparently serious enough, Kelly says, that senior editors at the Times are investigating the matter.

Not necessarily. Paulson referred to the waiver in testimony before Congress in mid-July, so its existence was no secret prior to the Times story on it. Sorkin told Kelly that he'd gotten a copy of the waiver through FOIA by "late July," when he filed the chapters of his book that dealt with it. Sorkin could conceivably have learned of the waiver from Paulson's testimony and gotten it via FOIA within two weeks, though that would be an extraordinarily fast turnaround. Or perhaps he learned of it earlier through his own reporting and FOIA'd it then. In any case, Sorkin says he got the waiver through his own FOIA request, and that he had it before the Times story came out.

Which is presumably why he didn't see fit to credit his newspaper for the story. But he's being very magnanimous about that, and offering to revise it in future editions. "I have spoken to Don and told him I'd be happy to include a citation in the 40 pages of end notes as a courtesy in the next printing," Sorkin told Kelly. Which we think is Timesspeak for "fuck you, Don."