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Reviews for Rough Draft

by Katy Tur

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

The award-winning MSNBC anchor reflects on her career and on the journalist parents who inspired her. Tur spent her childhood watching her parents build the Los Angeles News Service, a “scrappy little company that covered big, breaking news stories.” While her mother, Marika, shot all the footage, her father, Bob, was “the brand.” A charismatic thrill-seeker, Bob piloted the LANS news helicopter to “scoop the competition” on news events like the 1992 Reginald Denny beating and the 1994 O.J. Simpson car chase. But behind the scenes, Tur also witnessed Bob physically abuse Marika. The adrenaline-fueled aggression her father used to build LANS led to its downfall and to a period of drug abuse, erratic behavior, divorce, and his eventual declaration that he was trans. Seeking to distance herself from the family business, Tur dismissed all thoughts of becoming a journalist until the events of 9/11 inspired her to be a witness to events unfolding in New York. After college, a temporary newsroom job led to a meeting with MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann and a move to New York, where their relationship became tabloid fodder. “I paid a price for that relationship,” she writes in her characteristically honest way. “When media reporters found out that Keith was living with a twenty-three-year-old, I became, in tabloid-speak, the bimbo.” A job at the Weather Channel brought her into unexpected contact with Brian Williams and marked the start of her own professional ascent. As her star rose, the problems with her father—now called Zoey—exploded. Unwilling to acknowledge the hurt she caused her family, Zoey instead made their relationship troubles public to extract “a public declaration of love and forgiveness” in the press and live once again in the public eye. As the author probes the pain behind a storied career, she offers unvarnished insights into the fast-moving, often unforgiving world of high-powered journalism. A colorfully candid memoir from a dedicated journalist. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.