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May 18, 1986|John M. Wilson

AND SO IT GOES by Linda Ellerbee (Putnam's: $16.95). Someone once wrote that for all the facts we digest each day, we don't really get much truth or reality, "the news of our news." NBC reporter Linda Ellerbee (once a co-anchor of the award-winning "Overnight," now featured each Friday on "Today") also jibes at numbing newzak in this brisk, entertaining account of her up-and-down career in the TV news business. But insight and opinion seem almost incidental.

What the brash, cocky Ellerbee really likes to do is tell a good story. With some anecdotes, she doesn't just bite the hand that feeds her, she gnaws on it. But most are self-effacing, from her departure from print journalism (she wrote a very personal letter on her computer that went out accidentally over the AP wire) to her nerve-wracking near-showdown with the late Jessica Savitch for the co-anchor spot on NBC's "Weekend." The latter story is frankly about ambition and jealousy. But it is also about a professional trying to do the best work she can and to communicate with an audience she respects--a constant theme in the book.

There is a certain smugness here, but also humanity and honesty, which separate the on-camera Ellerbee from the glamorous, happy talk "twinkies" (her word) who have reduced so much of TV news to utter vacuity.

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