Print the Legend

From The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance:

When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.

Print the legend is sometimes a problem in the media: Jayson Blair. Stephen Glass. Dan Rather. Janet Cooke. Walter Duranty. Monkey fishing. The Apple Factory. And, of course, innumerable others.

And now we have the Frank Bruni story Rethinking His Religion. Yes, that Frank Bruni, former bulimic boy turned food critic turned op-ed writer.

While the cement hasn’t dried on Bruni’s Rethinking His Religion column yet, it may be getting close. Ready for Fake but true, Part Deux?

Bruni’s story involves a classmate who was everything Bruni wasn’t: straight, Southern, conservative, and religious. Then, the man became a doctor and abortion-provider and lost his faith, approximately in that order.

He [the doctor] shared a story about one of the loudest abortion foes he ever encountered, a woman who stood year in and year out on a ladder, so that her head would be above other protesters’ as she shouted “murderer” at him and other doctors and “whore” at every woman who walked into the clinic.

One day she was missing. “I thought, ‘I hope she’s O.K.,’ ” he recalled. He walked into an examining room to find her there. She needed an abortion and had come to him because, she explained, he was a familiar face. After the procedure, she assured him she wasn’t like all those other women: loose, unprincipled.

She told him: “I don’t have the money for a baby right now. And my relationship isn’t where it should be.”

“Nothing like life,” he responded, “to teach you a little more.”

A week later, she was back on her ladder.

The veracity of Bruni’s column has been challenged by many for a variety of reasons including the non-availability of the doctor, the non-confirmation of others, and the impossible to believe narrative. Kinda like Nick Nolte tale as Four Leaf Tayback in Tropic Thunder.

Plus, it sounds like a liberal urban legend,

Gawker, a site not known for sympathy with religious conservatives, was perhaps hardest on Bruni. John Cook savaged the anecdote of a pro-life protester’s abortion – citing eight published instances of nearly identical stories, and calling it “a hoary old tale that pops up on the internet with such frequency that – if I didn’t know better – I’d suspect Bruni was laundering a transparently false urban myth.”

Well, that explains it: print the legend.


About Professor Mockumental

I enjoy almost all forms of parody, buffoonery, and general high-jinks. Satire has shown itself to be an essential societal need; I therefore humbly offer my services in such a manner. I enjoy mocking the usual suspects at the New York Times (Charles Blows, Moron Dowd, and the earth is flat guy) and Washington Post (Dana Milkbag, E.D. Dijon, and David Ignoramus). There are many others as well, but sadly, there are always too many targets and too little time.

Posted on April 10, 2012, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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