Saturday, January 13, 2007

Actually, The LA Times Called My Writing "immaculate"...

An interesting footnote to Thursday's Beckham piece. In one of seven (yes, s-e-v-e-n) pieces that the LA Times printed yesterday about the Beckham transfer to the Galaxy, Chuck Culpepper wrote in his column 'With Beckham, what you see is what you get', the following:

The Guardian's Ian Plenderleith wrote immaculately, "Due to his limitations as a player, Beckham may actually fit in very well in U.S. soccer."

Which is an accurate quote, but taken completely out of context in order to support the writer's angle that British commentators were largely cynical about Beckham's move (they were, but I wasn't one of them). Still, why let context get in the way of a shoddy article when you've a deadline to meet.

The full quote was: "Due to his limitations as a player, Beckham may actually fit in very well in US soccer. While his name reaps sponsorship money, merchandise sales and enhanced media attention, we all know that on the field he's brilliant at what he does - but that that includes little beyond crosses, free-kicks and probing long passes. This will be ideal: he won't dominate games, but he'll produce the kind of highlight moments that can be easily packaged to a sporting audience that loves short, sharp thrills."

Mind, if he'd printed all that, I might have demanded a cut of his fee. And at least I can play the counter-distortion game, should I ever have a book published again, by having on the jacket: "Plenderleith writes immaculately" (LA Times). Sure, it would involve tinkering with the word 'wrote', but clearly the LA Times doesn't mind about technicalities on matters of mere accuracy.

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