What is wrong with journalists and authors today!?!? It seems every week there is another scandal calling into question the voracity of published work we had all taken for fact. We've had Tuesdays with Morrie author and columnist Mitch Albom playing the part of the stupid criminal when he wrote a column on a basketball game as though he was there; unfortunately for Albom one of the athletes mentioned in his article didn't even play due to an injury. We've got James Frye grandly embellishing his memoir, Million Little Pieces. We've got Stephen Glass, a much-celebrated young writer of the The New Republic magazine fabricating about 85% of the content of the stories he had written for The New Republic, some of which were entirely constructed out of his apparently sexless imagination. Now it seems that Dan Brown, author of The Da Vinci Code has been in court defending claims that he stole the main premises of his book from other authors! Where is their integrity? Where is their honor of their craft?!?
Unfortunately, this is just the tip of the iceberg. For every one author that gets outed, there are many more that go unreported by publishing agencies in a lame-ass attempt to save face. But even those that are reported usually result in a mere slap on the wrist. Poor Mr. Glass, for example, actually suffered some public humiliation before going on to graduate from Georgetown University Law Center and countless public appearances promoting his book, The Fabulist, which chronicled his journalistic fraud. Oh, and then there was the movie deal where Glass was portrayed by adorable and hunky Hayden Christensen. I'm sure poor old Glass cried all the way to the bank. So, answer me this: what is there to deter these dopes when committing an act of public betrayal only results in minor but temporary humiliation followed by book and movie deals?!?!
As a journalist I deeply resent this. Their dishonesty calls into question every word that is printed. I read a statistic yesterday that a whopping 3% of Americans think that politicians have integrity and honor their responsibility to the public as they carry out their duty thanks to the endless scandals riding the coattails of political life. Thanks to all the stinking bad journalists and authors out there (not to mention the bad tabloid reporting), journalists are going to get lumped in with lawyers and politicians before we know it. As someone who takes what I write for publication very seriously, I'd like to say this to all of them there bad boyz:
"Kiss my grits!!!"