Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Normally, I am a stalwart defender of truth, accuracy and the American Way of Journalism. But this tempest in a teapot over David Sedaris strikes me as a waste of energy and sense.

To recap:

The New Republic reports
, shockingly, that the humorist's essays are not all 100 percent true.

Slate's Jack Shafer, known for never having any fun, ever, accordingly scolds Sedaris.

The News and Observer (from Sedaris' native neck of the woods) pooh-poohs the entire matter.

The New Republic article's author then fired off a broadside to Romenesko.

So that's where we stand. And it's all ridiculous and stupid.

Anyone who has ever so much as read a page of David Sedaris knows he exaggerates. What's more, that exaggeration (sometimes fabrication) is one of the appealing parts of reading him. You constantly shift between believing and doubting his accounts. That queasy tension between the real and fabricated defines his method.

And, he's not a journalist. Let's repeat that. He's not a journalist. He's a humorous essayist. What's more, he's a humorous essayist who has constantly made it clear that his writing contains extremely exaggerated accounts of events.

So let this go, please. Go chase the next plaugurizing college reporter.