Kindred still lives near Washington and has maintained friendships with a number of Post reporters. He was granted permission to write this book by Leonard Downie Jr., The Post’s executive editor from 1991 to 2008, over mild objections from the corporate chairman, Donald E. Graham. (“It takes just one person saying something stupid to hurt you,” Graham tells Kindred.) Graham needn’t have worried. While pulling no punches in detailing at least one scandal involving a plan to sell access to government officials and journalists at exclusive “salons,” not to mention a notorious newsroom fistfight and the pain of “managing decline,” Kindred makes no attempt to disguise that the team he’s rooting for plays home games at 1150 15th Street NW. “Morning Miracle” may be the best semi-insider’s account we’ll get about a newspaper’s losing season of red ink, cutbacks and institutional angst amid the current industry crisis. This loser, it should be noted, won 11 Pulitzers for work done during the period Kindred is writing about, 2007 through 2009.
…Kindred is a connoisseur of journalists’ voices, exquisitely attuned to the trouble they’re in, but carrying on while they still can. Some of the best writing here is a powerful implicit argument for the irreducible value of sophisticated and fearless accountability reporting. His chronicle of how Dana Priest and Anne Hull meticulously pursue their investigation of the disgraceful treatment of wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, from the first nebulous lead to the final stages of nailing a multipart exposé, is superb. The war correspondent Anthony Shadid (now with The New York Times), the feature writer Gene Weingarten and the Post team that covered the mass shooting at Virginia Tech provide further examples of exemplary work. Kindred’s portrait of The Post’s 2008 presidential election coverage is a love song to everyone from the headline writers and the front-page designer to the Pakistani immigrant who delivers the paper at dawn in the Virginia suburbs.
Kudos to Mr. Kindred. This one sounds interesting…Here’s an excerpt.