Thursday, November 12, 2009

A task force we'd be happy to serve upon

I've forgotten where I found the link, but this blog post by Claire Berlinski on how she came to write an article for Penthouse is pretty great.
Parenthetically, I have never experienced more rigorous fact-checking in my entire career than I have when writing for Penthouse. You can believe every word of those letters. “But our reputation,” said my editor sadly whenever he called, “is lower than whale shit.” He seemed genuinely hurt.

He wanted, for example, proof that Sifu Emin was the most lethal man in the world. "Peter," I wrote back patiently, "who would you consider appropriately qualified to issue a verdict on that question? The Chairman of the International Lethalness Measurement Task Force? I mean, for all we really know, there's a still-more lethal man living in some remote tribal village in Equatorial Guinea, thoughtfully chewing on his enemies' entrails even as I type."

He saw the wisdom in what I was saying, but he stuck to his guns: I had to say that he might be the most lethal man in the world. I thought that sounded as if I lacked courage in my convictions, but I guess I have to respect Penthouse's commitment to accuracy over sensationalism.
She doesn't mention what issue the article's in, but apparently it's a newer one.

No comments:

Post a Comment