Saturday, July 19, 2008

Quote of the Day: Lawrence Weschler on The Problem With Celebrity Journalism

"There is nothing wrong with writing about famous people. Celebrities are often very interesting, but you don’t want to talk to them at the moment of their celebritydom. The problem with “celebrity journalism” is that any profile of a celebrity at the moment of his celebrity is a profile of the condition of celebritydom. There is a certain philosophy of magazine editing, which is that you describe which fancy restaurant you took the celebrity to, the logic being that the fancier the restaurant the fancier the scoops you’ll get.

Another metaphor for the problem of celebrity journalism is flash photography. All flash photographs are bad. The flash from the camera distorts the photo. And all flash photographs are the same: everybody’s skin looks the same. And everybody has those same little red dots in their eyes. Celebritydom distorts and obscures whatever might be interesting about the celebrity subject."
--Writer Lawrence Weschler, from an interview in Robert Boynton's 2005 book The New New Journalism: Conversations with America's Best Nonfiction Writers on Their Craft.

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