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Publishers Say Fact-Checking Is Too Costly (Dino Media Extinction Alert)
Wall Street Journal ^ | Jan 30, 2006 | JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG

Posted on 01/30/2006 3:37:14 AM PST by abb

Last Thursday, publishing-industry veteran Nan Talese was excoriated on television by Oprah Winfrey for publishing James Frey's 2003 "A Million Little Pieces," a bestselling memoir about the author's struggle to overcome drug dependency that he has since admitted is partly fictitious.

But on Friday morning, Ms. Talese walked into 22nd-floor offices in Midtown Manhattan to a standing ovation from her colleagues. Soon afterward, she received a call of support from Peter Olson, chief executive of Bertelsmann AG's Random House Inc. publishing arm.

"I've gotten more than 500 emails over the last few days, and the overwhelming majority have been supportive," says Ms. Talese whose imprint, Nan A. Talese, is part of Random House's Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group.

Indeed, many members of the publishing industry have rallied around Ms. Talese and Random House, saying that they would have published "A Million Little Pieces" as well and could have been duped just as easily. Unlike journalists, publishers have never seen it as their purview to verify that the information in nonfiction books is true. Editors and publishers say the profit-margins in publishing don't allow for hiring fact-checkers. Instead, they rely on authors to be honest, and on their legal staffs to avoid libels suits. "An author brings a manuscript saying it represents the truth, and that relationship is one of trust," says Ms. Tale

(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: books; dinosaurmedia; frey; msm; oldmedia; oprah; publishing; talese
"I want the truth!!!"

"You can't handle the truth!!!"

1 posted on 01/30/2006 3:37:16 AM PST by abb
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To: abb

The truth is until the whole thing blew up in her face, Oprah didn't care in the least that she was foisting lies.


2 posted on 01/30/2006 3:42:26 AM PST by stevem
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To: abb
Publishers Say Fact-Checking Is Too Costly (Dino Media Extinction Alert)

And that attitude has done the MSM a whole lotta good, hasn't it?

There are none so blind...

3 posted on 01/30/2006 3:45:26 AM PST by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: stevem

Oprah is worried that someone might decide to go for some really deep pockets and sue the pants off her for making this book a best seller. Were I the doctors and rehab center in MN that this lying author maligned, I'd hire a really good lawyer and clean out Oprah's prodigious bank account. She's fortunate that her audience is a cult of ignoramuses who would never conceive of questioning her judgement.


4 posted on 01/30/2006 3:48:00 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: kittymyrib
Soneone's already trying to file a class action suit against the publisher. That news came out just before Oprah's mea culpa.
5 posted on 01/30/2006 3:49:31 AM PST by mewzilla (Property must be secured or liberty cannot exist. John Adams)
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To: abb

Hey Orca, how about you do a little fact checking before you give a book a million dollars worth of free publicity.


6 posted on 01/30/2006 3:51:53 AM PST by DainBramage
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To: abb

" "An author brings a manuscript saying it represents the truth, and that relationship is one of trust," says Ms. Tale"

You've got to be kidding me.

Is their reputation worth so little?

Will they publish anything based on trust with NO verification? Or is it because they liked what they read and published it because of that? Truth is costly, eh? Well having NO credibility is deve$tating. Liars tend to leave a bad taste in your mouth.


7 posted on 01/30/2006 4:16:27 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people believe in Intelligent Design (God))
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To: stevem
The truth is until the whole thing blew up in her face, Oprah didn't care in the least that she was foisting lies.

And she knew for a while but did nothing until her sheeple forced her to make a statement.

8 posted on 01/30/2006 4:34:51 AM PST by mtbopfuyn (Legality does not dictate morality... Lavin)
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To: abb
Indeed, many members of the publishing industry have rallied around Ms. Talese and Random House, saying that they would have published "A Million Little Pieces" as well and could have been duped just as easily.

Um, no. When it first made the rounds of publishing houses as a work of fiction, no one would touch it.

Unlike journalists, publishers have never seen it as their purview to verify that the information in nonfiction books is true.

So, they care nothing for the reputation of their name?

9 posted on 01/30/2006 4:39:28 AM PST by mtbopfuyn (Legality does not dictate morality... Lavin)
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To: abb

Oh, please ... with the price they charge for books today they are pleading poverty? Nonsense!


10 posted on 01/30/2006 4:41:15 AM PST by NonValueAdded (What ever happened to "Politics stops at the water's edge?")
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To: abb

yaeh..like we WANT to pay for rumors.......


11 posted on 01/30/2006 4:49:04 AM PST by mo
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To: abb

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB113858811205659673.html?mod=todays_free_feature


12 posted on 01/30/2006 4:49:25 AM PST by dennisw ("What one man can do another can do" - The Edge)
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To: dennisw

Thx. Didn't realize they have a free feature. Note also the article about WB and filesharing...


13 posted on 01/30/2006 4:51:45 AM PST by abb (Because News Reporting is too important to be left to the Journalists.)
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To: abb

American self-esteem training at work. Try telling someone that their judgement is poor.


14 posted on 01/30/2006 5:02:30 AM PST by dhuffman@awod.com (The conspiracy of ignorance masquerades as common sense.)
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To: mo
yaeh..like we WANT to pay for rumors.......

Yeah I remember something like this happened in Australia where a white writer wrote a deeply moving book pretending to be the autobiography of an Aboriginal. It won some huge award, then it came out is was BS. Quite funny, actually.

At this rate we won't know what the hell we're buying, just someone's silly scribblings!
15 posted on 01/30/2006 5:16:32 AM PST by starbase (Understanding Written Propaganda (click "starbase" to learn 22 manipulating tricks!!))
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To: stevem
The truth is until the whole thing blew up in her face, Oprah didn't care in the least that she was foisting lies.Bingo. Daytime Drama Diva Oprah could care less how she makes her millions.
16 posted on 01/30/2006 5:18:39 AM PST by tioga (Speaking out from the god-forsaken frozen tundra of the Hildebeast.)
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To: mewzilla

WEll, that explians it- she didn't have a change of heart about supporting this book, her lawyer gave her some legal advice on how to protect her millions. (sigh)


17 posted on 01/30/2006 5:20:11 AM PST by tioga (Speaking out from the god-forsaken frozen tundra of the Hildebeast.)
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To: starbase

Don't forget Nobel Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu

http://www.google.com/search?num=100&hl=en&lr=&safe=off&c2coff=1&rls=GGLG%2CGGLG%3A2005-49%2CGGLG%3Aen&q=%22Rigoberta+Menchu%22+phony


18 posted on 01/30/2006 5:24:44 AM PST by dennisw ("What one man can do another can do" - The Edge)
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To: kittymyrib
1) The book was a best seller BEFORE Oprah got it.

2) The article is right, in that publishers accepting what authors give them as "true" is nothing new. In the 1970s, Robert Maddox published "The New Left and the Origins of the Cold War," in which he exposed massive fraud in six or seven "New Left" history books that were widely heralded when they came out (such things as using ellipses to join together different speeches from different days!) But Maddox's greater revelation was that the publishers and REFEREES didn't bother to check this stuff.

This whole thing was repeated with Bellisiles' idiotic book on guns ("Arming America") where, again, the publishers didn't bother to check citations . . . NOR DID REFEREES.

This is becoming a huge problem in both fiction/non-fiction trade publishing and in "academic" publishing.

19 posted on 01/30/2006 5:32:16 AM PST by LS
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To: LS

It'll come to an end when a bunch of State U grads, having paid for an"education" and having received fiction, file a class action lawsuit against their alma mater....


20 posted on 01/30/2006 5:53:21 AM PST by mo
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To: dennisw
You inspired me to look it up. Here's a little blurb about it from Google:

The greatest and most recent theft of Aboriginal identity was by Leon Carmen, alias Wanda Koolmatrie, author of the book My Own Sweet Time. In March 1997, Leon Carmen, a 47-year-old white male, admitted he had invented the persona of Wanda Koolmatrie, allegedly a descendant of the Pitjantjatara people in South Australia and a member of the stolen generation.
Source
21 posted on 01/30/2006 6:22:59 AM PST by starbase (Understanding Written Propaganda (click "starbase" to learn 22 manipulating tricks!!))
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To: starbase
And don't forget our most recent fake Indian who made millions from his phony baloney books
Former NC author's work on Indian life called fake Myrtle Beach Sun News, SC - Jan 27, 2006 RALEIGH, NC - A former Chapel Hill author isn't the Navajo Indian he claimed in nationally acclaimed memoirs about his troubled childhood growing up in the ...

22 posted on 01/30/2006 6:28:27 AM PST by dennisw ("What one man can do another can do" - The Edge)
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To: nmh
Dunno. They could always attach
"This book contains the beliefs and opinions of the author and does not necessarily represent the those of the publisher. We're just in for the money. Also, the "facts" were provided by the author and were not subject to peer review. You're on your own."

Put it just inside the front cover.
23 posted on 01/30/2006 6:33:41 AM PST by Little Ray (I'm a reactionary, hirsute, gun-owning, knuckle dragging, Christian Neanderthal and proud of it!)
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To: mo

Possibly. I'm not confident about "reforming" the university, either from within or without. I liken it more to the MSM, which had to be replaced by something totally different.


24 posted on 01/30/2006 6:57:05 AM PST by LS
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To: LS

its intersting to hear your take on university...I've often held that from a capital investment perspective, there is little reason today for such an institution, given the cost.


25 posted on 01/30/2006 7:42:51 AM PST by mo
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To: mo

Perhaps, but that also insulates it, because it is cost-prohibitive to move into the oligopoly. We ain't losing students: our enrollments grow every year, even though we jack up tuition every year even more.


26 posted on 01/30/2006 7:50:12 AM PST by LS
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To: Little Ray

That's a thought.


Believer beware of these "facts"?


27 posted on 01/30/2006 10:47:22 AM PST by nmh (Intelligent people believe in Intelligent Design (God))
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To: LS

Term limits would neuter this oligopoly...permanently.


28 posted on 01/31/2006 5:05:40 AM PST by mo
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To: mo

Won't work. You are focusing COMPLETELY on the wrong thing. Changing the profs won't change the oligopoly that the schools have with state legislatures and federal student aid. It's the AID that allows schools to jack up tuitions. (BTW, not complaining, but the faculty only gets 3% of tuition increases, according to Richard Vedder's book, "Going Broke by Degree.") Vedder is a great place to start to understand the dynamic of why colleges will NOT be overturned by anything on the horizon right now. It will take a true educational revolution.


29 posted on 01/31/2006 5:36:33 AM PST by LS
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To: abb
Unlike journalists, publishers have never seen it as their purview to verify that the information in nonfiction books is true. Editors and publishers say the profit-margins in publishing don't allow for hiring fact-checkers.

What a sad, self-serving view!
The reality, that as a result, they are "pushing" fiction as non-fiction seems to totally evade their limited view of integrity: perpetrating a fraud and using the lame excuse of "profit margin" as justification.

The really maddening and permanent result is that many of these "non-fiction" books push lies and propaganda as reality, and after it is repeated often enough, it is presumed "fact" in the Hilary" sense:

...they studied Hillary's speechmaking method to understand her power and success. They concluded: her trick was never actually to make any arguments -- just state conclusions that were all already accepted as self-evident by her audience.

30 posted on 03/19/2006 10:24:25 AM PST by Publius6961 (Multiculturalism is the white flag of a dying country)
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