It is absolutely no wonder to me why Clay Bennett has won the Pulitzer Prize for cartooning. With yesterday’s news of Bush’s proposed budget, Bennett hits it out of the park again.
OK, this has nothing to do with politics or New Mexico, but, as a journalist, I find this CNN article interesting. For those of you not “in the know,” James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces, has been accused of fabricating portions of the autobiographical memoir.
With all of the controversy surrounding A Million Little Pieces (which I absolutely could not put down), which is a result of analysis by The Smoking Gun, this particular graf struck me as a little odd:
Smoking Gun Editor William Bastone told Reuters, “In off-the-record interviews with us, Frey admitted embellishing facts in the book for dramatic impact.”
I’m sorry, but what exactly is the point of challenging an author’s integrity if you have none either? Admitting that you are willing to repeat information from “off-the-record” interviews only calls into question the authenticity of your investigation. You’re not credible, in my eyes.
Oh, I have no idea whether Frey embellished his story for “dramatic impact,” or if he made the whole thing up. It was a good book, yeah, but the Smoking Gun’s behavior in this affair has left more of a sour taste in my mouth.
Update: And what the hell is CNN doing publishing that quote in the first place?
Well, just a quick note, and a link to a more important post. Steve Gilliard provided an exceptional post on the passing of Hunter Thompson today. You must go read it.
“Which is why Hunter Thompson was a hero. He was honest to a fault and mean to a fault. In a world where journalism has become about asking questions politely and fiction about settling grudges with parents and schoolmates, he was about something far more important.”
Quite right. Too often as journalsts we settle for what we’re given, and it’s true at almost every level. We could all learn a little something from the man’s legacy.