Friday, July 01, 2016

Oops …

… Author Gay Talese disavows his latest book amid credibility questions - The Washington Post.

A journalist with integrity.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Frank,

    Integrity? Or is Gay Talese just covering his ass and his reputation after his sole source and subject was "outed" as a liar. In the past I enjoyed Talese's "Honor Thy Father," "The Kingdom and the Power," and many of his magazine stories, but I passed on his sex in America book and I'll pass on this one as well.

    I knew the subject of the book was a liar when Talese said he claimed to witness a murder and called the police, but they didn't respond. That did not ring true to me.

    Journalists/authors should never go with a sole source, but to Talese, his publisher and The New Yorker, this story was just too good.

    Too good to be true, it seems...


  3. So much for integrity -

  4. My reflexive response was that, in this day and age, for a journalist to admit error publicly showed integrity. I did think at the time that his publisher might not like the idea of his not promoting the book. So I am not surprised that he has backtracked on that. I agree that one should never go with a single source. And one should check out every source to the extent that one can. Talese got taken. At least he admits it and plans to make whatever corrections he can. I'm willing to cut him some slack.

  5. Frank,

    I guess you're right, and he is 83, and he once was a very good writer and reporter. Still, I'm not interested in the subject matter of the book, so I'll not be reading it.

    When I was a young, aspiring writer so many years ago, I was quite taken with the "New Journalism." Tom Wolfe, John Mills, Gsy Talese and others were offering some truly great pieces.

    But then we learn that "In Cold Blood" had fiction passages and Michael Herr's "Dispatches" had fictional passages as well. That's not journalism - new or otherwise - and it is not the art of fiction. It is just dishonest. They lied.

    I wonder if Gay Talese's New Journalism pieces and books contain fictional passages as well.


  6. Frank,

    Interesting take on Talese and New Journalism...