Why You Should Be Cautious of Media Interviews

I was interviewed by Steve Malanga for a recent profile of Bushwick, Brooklyn for City Journal and found this paragraph that proved to me (yet again) that you should always be cautious about giving interviews, even to nice guys–which Steve obviously is:

Some early arrivals claim that landlords hoodwinked them into thinking that they were moving to an already gentrifying Williamsburg. “I was looking for a place I could afford to live in on my own,” remembers freelance writer Hrag Vartanian, “and the price was right here, though the place still had an edge to it. Our super was an ex-con who would regale us with stories of the local drug trade that used to be here. I quickly figured out this wasn’t really Williamsburg.”

There are a couple of factual errors in this short paragraph (go figure), so I wrote the author to let him know and he did respond rather nicely but I wanted to set the record straight.

  1. I never thought I was moving to Williamsburg but East Williamsburg, very different places.
  2. Also, I liked Bushwick for its edge, not in spite of it.

Seems like I’m not the only one who hates being misquoted….over at Revolution in Jesusland (I love that blog, call it a guilty pleasure) they are linking to Letitia‘s railing about a bad misquote in the New York Times which essentially has her saying she wants a border fence to keep out illegals (she said NOTHING of the sort)…wow…I guess I should be thankful mine was so benign.

Btw, nowadays I tend to conduct email interviews so that people can’t complain when quotes go public…maybe the Times should rethink their old media techniques.

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