Lying when no one cares

Lying when no one cares

ANOTHER COUNTERFEIT INTERVIEW: GORE VIDAL
Posted by Judith Thurman
In this week’s Talk of the Town, I reported that Tommaso Debenedetti, a freelance Italian journalist, had fabricated interviews with Philip Roth and John Grisham in which he attributed anti-Obama sentiments to both of them. The Roth interview was published in an Italian tabloid, Libero, and the Grisham interviews in two conservative newspapers, Il Resto del Carlino and La Nazione, and one with centrist politics, Il Giorno. I was curious to know what other mischief Debenedetti might have been up to, and I discovered that he had also published an interview with Gore Vidal in the Italian news weekly L’Espresso. Vidal, who lived in Italy for decades, reads and speaks Italian fluently. It seemed implausible that Debenedetti would have had the nerve to invent a long Q. & A. with him, but it also seemed unlikely that a prominent journal like L’Espresso would have run the piece without any fact-checking. Nope. This afternoon, I reached Gore Vidal, by telephone, in Los Angeles. He had never heard of Debenedetti, he told me, adding that he would have been less surprised to discover that an American journalist, rather than a European one, had perpetrated such a hoax. (I also tried to reach L’Espresso for comment, but it was too late in Italy and there was no answer at their U.S. office.) In the meantime, I am checking to see if an interview by Benedetti with last year’s Nobel Laureate in Literature, Herta Müller, that was published in Il Piccolo, a progressive newspaper with headquarters in Trieste, is another instance of his creativity. Stay tuned. And if you’re aware of other suspicious interviews by Debenedetti, please e-mail us.

Read more: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2010/03/gore-vidal.html#ixzz0jrA0glgm