The Price of Fame

I am famous. It’s official.

My new job and picture and a brief bio were all published in this month’s edition of the college newspaper.

But that’s not how I know I’m famous. You know how I know I’m famous? I will tell you.

It’s because they didn’t get ONE personal detail correct.

  • My name is misspelled not one or two but three times.
  • The school I went to is improperly attributed (I even wrote that one down for them).
  • Work history: incorrect.
  • Degree: totally off (in fact, they used my work history for my degree, which I think is just incredibly creative)
  • Icing on the cake was when the writer listed my favorite quote NOT as my actual favorite quote (which we never discussed) but as the quote printed on the advertising flyers for the writing center’s hours.

You know what that quote was?

“The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.” -Edwin Schlossberg

I could not agree more, Edwin. And, if I am to take your words literally, the budding journalist responsible for conveying my background and purpose to the college at large is, in fact, a very skilled writer. Because the only thing I’ve been doing for the past few days is thinking of ways to correct her on all things RAE.

Can’t drag me down, though. I’ve simply learned about how to handle the next round of interviews (which are sure to come as soon as I finish my Oscar-winning screenplay). I have two new options, aside from “grant interview and be grossly mis-represented.”

  1. Refuse to grant the interview, leaving my adoring audience in the lurch, but giving the shaft to greedy, power hungry journalists.
  2. Write the entire interview myself.

I’m inclined to go with number two, but I don’t think that suggestion will be well received. Maybe I can make it conditional. As in, “Let me write it, or you won’t get ANYTHING.”

Plus there’s this:

I would just like you all to know that, although my jawline is distinctively Irish and therefore shy as a rule, it does EXIST, which is not apparent from looking at this photo-gem published alongside the literary gem. Who looks at a picture like this and thinks, “Yes! THIS is the one we will use!” I ask because “flattering” is probably at the very bottom of the list of words I would use to describe this picture. And I think most of you could agree with me on that. It’s not TERRIBLE, but it’s certainly not flattering. The really disturbing part for me, here, is that the photographer took approximately 500 photos. This one. Is. The. One. They. Chose. WHY, student journalists, WHY?!

The best part about all this is that the school newspaper is not a student-run extracurricular, but an actual class. Someone is getting paid to teach these kids to write and publish this stuff. The author, editors, fact-checkers, all got a grade on this article. And I am very curious about what their grades actually were. And about how much that instructor is making…. Because if there is an income to be had for teaching people to write poorly and inaccurately, I want in.

Evil media is more real to me, today. I have been personally aggrieved by a journalist and I shall not soon forget it.



4 thoughts on “The Price of Fame”

  1. Could be worse. Could be raining.

    Did you actually see the other 499 photos? If the photographer rides the same short bus as the writer, maybe the rest were portraits of his thumb.

    BTW ask your father about our ancestral home in South Carolina.

  2. Did you confront anyone about this mess??? I'd be so pissed! I hope you call the teacher and tell her to give that interviewer a big fat F! Or a big fat C- at the very least.

  3. So we'll be seeing you as chief editor next, eh?

    Sounds to me like those students are doing an 'excellent' job of becoming real journalists. When did you ever read an interview which gave all the correct details?? What would be the fun in that? With the wrong details, you get attention, drama, denials, follow-up stories, more interviews, big headlines… not to mention blog reactions!… You can drag one single story out for weeks… Yipee.

    Now you go offer a competing paper the TRUE story, and your Fame will just keep Growing!

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