Thursday, January 26, 2006

Getting to the Truth.

screencap by bcfraggle
It was wonderful to have Anderson back on 360 tonight and it's always a pleasure to watch him dissect a story that gets his juices flowing. Again the staff failed to screen calls properly, I wish they would just give it up if they can't get it right. Although I must admit I did enjoy Anderson's "..Brueller...Brueller". If you missed it sorry, you just had to be there.

Something occurred to me tonight as I watched Anderson present the information he had gleaned from watching Oprah crucify James Frey this morning. I was raised in a small town, outside Pittsburgh, and like all small towns there was always gossip. Typical small minded stuff like who was sleeping with whom, which family had skeletons in their closet, so and so's child being gay, etc. Then one day a neighbor wrote a book about our town and all its inside slime and called it fiction. The names were different but everybody recognized Joe was really the Chief of Police and oh, you get the picture. The town was outraged, the author chastised and eventually driven away. I remember my mother bought the book and hid it while she read it, not wanting to be considered a traitor, but enjoying every juicy detail. I don't know which is worse, telling the ugly truth with lightly veiled identities and calling it fiction or writing almost truths with embellishments, as James Frey did, and calling it a memoir. I just don't know.
I do know that Anderson is no stranger to being stung by the written word. He mentioned how hurtful (and inaccurate) he found the press to be in reporting his brother Carter's death. Maybe that's why he is so indignant about this whole Frey situation. Truth is the standard he uses to judge and obviously James Frey falls far short. If I remember correctly, Truman Capote also wrote some very ugly things about Anderson's parents. We'll never know how much of those writings were truth or fiction but they were written by a very mean spitited author. Trying to even a score does not usually stand up in the bright light of truth. Truth is a high standard to set but an admirable one. But then Anderson doesn't do much that I don't admire.


Linnea said...

I'm an emergency management student, and my prof is *so* cynical about the media it's unreal. He claims the media does nothing but lie. I get really tired of it... so glad there are journalists like Anderson out there to prove that claim wrong!!

I wonder if Anderson is so careful because he remembers all too well the inaccurate reporting surrounding Carter's death? That would be a strong motivator for anyone.

geek223 said...

Did you see the commercial that Anderson will be on Oprah Tuesday!?!??!