It is a truth universally acknowledged that if a New York Times writer produces a book, it will also be reviewed by the New York Times — and favorably. The latest instantiation is Judith Shulevitz’s review of Nicholas Wade’s The Faith Instinct in today’s NYT. What “criticism” she levels is halfhearted.
I was asked to blurb this book by the publishers, but refused on the grounds that it was financially supported by the Templeton Foundation and its contents were, apparently, vetted by Templeton-selected reviewers (see the acknowledgments).
Lest you think that NYT authors always getting favorable reviews is just a happy coincidence, I have heard of at least once case in which the solicited review turned out strongly negative, so the Times rejected it and commissioned a more favorable review.
UPDATE: The Economist heads its review of The Faith Instinct thusly: “An Evolutionary Biologist on Religion.” Wade, of course, is a journalist, but The Economist in its wisdom apparently thinks that anyone who writes on evolution is an evolutionary biologist.