Thursday, April 12, 2012

Christian Lorentzen · Fact-checking · LRB 5 April 2012:

I miss New York sometimes, but I don’t miss its schizophrenic obsession with facts, or the puritan hysteria that attends the discovery that a memoir should have been called a novel or that someone saying something silly in a newspaper story turns out to be as real as Huck Finn. The zealotry of the shaming has a lot to do with journalists’ anxiety about their own influence as purveyors of fact. They can try for years and fail to stir people up about a foreign warlord the way a viral video like Kony 2012 has been able to do. And they can’t get people to feel bad about Chinese working conditions the way Mike Daisey has done in his Off-Broadway show The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs.