I wasn’t sure if I was going to blog about this. And to be clear it’s not about Roger Avary, it’s about journalism.
As most people who would be bothered know, because Neil G blogged it yesterday, Avary was involved in a car crash on Sunday that killed a friend of his and left his wife seriously injured.
The story was widely reported across the internet. Yahoo carried it in their entertainment news, that’s where I originally saw the story. It was deemed newsworthy because Avary was arrested on a suspected DUI charge and is the co-writer of Pulp Fiction.
And it made me angry.
Not at Roger. It’s not my place to judge and to be fair nothing has been proven yet, nor is anyone in full possession of the facts. No, my anger was with the journalist and Yahoo (although I suspect the copy originated from one of the news networks).
The article began, I’m not prepared to link or reprint it here, with a pretty factual description of what had happened. I personally don’t think it merited national news but I accept people will read it, hell I did. Had it stopped at the related facts it would have been OK.
But there was more.
They then went on to explain who Roger was and then to go into an ill advised description of how Avary fell out with Tarantino, that his involvement in Pulp Fiction was downplayed. And the final swipe was that he wasn’t anywhere near as successful as Tarantino instead spending his time rewriting other people’s work.
I mean for pity’s sake. Regardless of whether he was under the influence or not the guy’s friend died in the crash and his wife is in hospital. Is that really the time to embark on a pseudo and possibly quite poorly researched critique of his career? Even under different circumstances is it entirely fair to compare his career against one of the most successful movie director’s in recent times?
Most important of all where’s the relevancy? There is no way within twenty-four hours of the event you can establish a causal link between his career and the accident much less as yet unproven charges. The journalist was painting Avary in a bad light, somewhat redundantly if the charges are proven correct and totally inappropriately if they’re not.
So this post, or more accurately: rant, is not about Roger Avary.
It’s about journalism, and a plea best articulated in the voice of Ray Winstone:
Right you slaaags. Stop taking liberties and sort it awwwt!