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« Margaret Jones' Diaries: people are still talking | Main | Margaret Jones' Diaries: Publishers Weekly gets it »

March 09, 2008

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Chris

JT LeRoy wasn't a memoirist, but Sayre's already said that he doesn't know, or care, about the difference; using his yardstick,The Diary of Anne Frank could've been a fictional account written by Jackie Collins, and as long as Jackie got the sound of the jackboots right, who dare insist on 'documentary truth'?
Oh snap! Excellent analogy there. It's amazing to me how little the Oregonian is choosing to touch this, I think it made part of the Metro section one day and that's it.
Now if only she had included some wisdome about ferrets she had learned from the native Americans it would be the ultimate classic for the ages...oh wait, different plagerist :)

Kevin

Chris, the Oregonian did a front-page story mid-week and a Sunday essay as well. The Eugene Reg-Guard did one story, ran a wire report, and then printed Prof. Sayre's ludicrous essay on Sunday.

What interested me was that both Oregon papers (unlike the L.A. Times or Mediabistro) managed to suggest that there was something unseemly about bloggers and others digging into this story, something vaguely distasteful about it. Ultimately, of course, it says more about the state of journalism in the area, and how "Oregon nice" has crept into the discourse there.

It also reminds me of that case in Vancouver where the woman killed her "chronically ill" daughter and then herself; the Oregonian, the Tribune, and all the TV stations did stories on the tragedy of it all. Nancy Rommelmann actually went to Vancouver, asked around, found that it was actually a case of Munchausen's Syndrome by proxy, and did a bangup cover story for Willamette Week. I was left with the impression that most media outlets in Oregon find it impertinent to pry, which is, of course, antithetical to the very notion of journalism.

Kate

Well, don't jump too quickly to point out the LAT's digging. While Seltzer's hometown paper has printed about 5 columns and an editorial on the story, the "news reporting" has been pretty thin--one quote from her mom. No former teachers, no former classmates, and not much from the 'hood, although Sandy Banks did some shoe leather work. Oregon nice is a cultural phenomenon, but never underestimate the power of "google bait" for the MSM.

Chris

Ok, well I guess I only caught one story in the metro section - maybe because I get the first edition in the AM it wasn't on the front - from looking over it they seemed to be portraying her in a sympathetic light - not as the liar she should have been called out as.
And i do remember the article in the WW about the Vancouver lady. Also wanted to give you bonus points for the Mercury comment about them not caring what happens off of E. Burnside!

Jil McIntosh

"The more intimate or psychological the events recounted — of childhood trauma, of addiction, of religious conversion, or even of racial identity — the more ludicrous it is for readers to insist upon documentary truth."

Y'know, I never thought I'd live long enough to see the day when I'd mistake a professor's statement for that of a failing student.

Chris

Well not sure what I read...the link you have to the Oregonian isn't the article I remember, maybe I'm remembering an original piece before the truth was told? Or I just need more vicodin?

nishani frazier

Favorite Comments:
The Diary of Anne Frank could've been a fictional account written by Jackie Collins, and as long as Jackie got the sound of the jackboots right

and.... Y'know, I never thought I'd live long enough to see the day when I'd mistake a professor's statement for that of a failing student.

lmao---these quotes are classic. Although I am phento-typically African American - if i tell a klan member that I'm actually whie, does this mean I wont get my assed whipped?

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"Actually, 'ludicrous' is when a literature professor prefers documentary truthiness to documentary truth. What kind of education are those U of O kids getting for their parents' money, anyway?"

A very valid point, my favorite out of many in the article! Great job with this one :)

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Beauty is truthiness, truthiness beauty

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"using his yardstick,The Diary of Anne Frank could've been a fictional account written by Jackie Collins, and as long as Jackie got the sound of the jackboots right, who dare insist on 'documentary truth'? "

Very well-put point here! :)

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