In One Eye

Sunday, June 15, 2003
Jack Shafer writes in Slate about some bogus news stories of years past--including some by one of the giants of 20th century journalism, H.L. Mencken.

Creating fiction in the pages of the 1905 Baltimore Herald--a second rate paper at best--was hardly Mencken's greatest sin.

Shafer's argument fails when he writes that the New York Times fired A.J. Liebling in 1925--twenty years after the then 25 year old Mencken's fictionalizing--for a similar gaffe. As the country's leading journalist, Mencken certainly wasn't writing fiction for the Sun by then.

Reactions at the bottom of the Slate page are quite prescient.