Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Morrie taught him poorly

Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom has always been a wonderful storyteller.

As some of you may recall, he wrote a wistful column from the NCAA Final Four in March, painting a flowery picture of how former Michigan State stars Jason Richardson and Mateen Cleaves longed for the simplicity of their college days.

In great detail, Albom described how the pair took time from their NBA schedules to attend the Final Four, how they sat in the stands and wore their spartan green, cheering on their Michigan State descendants with great passion.

Only problem. Cleaves and Richardson weren't at the game.

Days earlier, the pair told Albom they would be attending. But flight trouble delayed their arrival, and they never made it to St. Louis.

Nonetheless, Albom had delivered great prose about their attire at the game, their feelings about their alma mater, their actions while watching the game. He waved a magic wand, made it all up, and committed one of journalism's great sins.

Although the Free Press did not fire its star columnist, Albom lost all credibility.

That is why I nearly spurted Cheerios through my nose when I read this column last month, in which Albom, the great fake, had the audacity to lament the decline of journalistic standards. His message was correct, but I'd eat a dead dog's penis before I accepted it from him.

He was at his hypocritical best again Sunday, writing how the Detroit Lions have lost all credibility thanks to their lousy play. The headline on the story, which borrowed from the text, read: "Easter Bunny more believable than Lions."

It was time to write Mr. Albom a letter.

I emailed him Monday morning:

"Dear Mitch,
If the Easter Bunny is more believable than the Lions, then are both more believable than you, you fiction-writing fraud?


You'll be shocked when I tell you that I have not yet received his response. I'm not surprised. As talented a writer as Albom is, there are no words that can justify betraying your profession.

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At 7:52 AM, Blogger Erik said...

I think this is absolutely hillarious. I remember hearing about him coming under pressure about story fabrication, but I can't believe it was that obvious. There's no way he truly felt he wouldn't get caught is there?


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