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Umm, Well, Now this is Uncomfortable

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talese

Less than two weeks prior to publication, an attention grabbing account of a motel voyeur is being abandoned by the author.

Gay Talese is a journalism giant. But evidently he overlooked a key detail of property ownership when documenting the story of Gerald Foos, a motel owner who spied on his guests. When the Washington Post pointed out a gap in property records, Talese responded “I should not have believed a word he said… I’m not going to promote this book…How dare I promote it when its credibility is down the toilet?”

The Washington Post article further stated:

In a series of interviews, he expressed surprise, disappointment and anger to learn about the transactions. He said he had not been aware of them until a reporter asked him about it on Wednesday.

“The source of my book, Gerald Foos, is certifiably unreliable,” Talese said. “He’s a dishonorable man, totally dishonorable. . . . I know that. . . . I did the best I could on this book, but maybe it wasn’t good enough.”

I wonder how this will play out in regards to Talese’s book advance?

UPDATE:
NPR is reporting that Talese now says he spoke too soon. “I was upset and probably said some things I didn’t, and don’t, mean. Let me be clear: I am not disavowing the book and neither is my publisher.”

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