More on Cherry-Picking

Monday, September 19th, 2011

I received a great many positive responses to last week’s feature on the ridiculous cherry-picking exhibited on cover of The Help. One in particular, however, stands out. Reader Abe F. took the time to read the entirety of the NPR review, and saw that the first line of the quote (“This could be one of the most important pieces of fiction since To Kill a Mockingbird”) is also misleading!

I noticed that the first part of the quote is actually a misrepresentation of the original sentence as well, leaving out the opening clause “As black-white race relations go…”, to make it seem like the reviewer was talking about the entirety of fiction, when she clearly wasn’t.

Nicely spotted, Abe! The second line was what piqued my interest upon first seeing it, so I simply skimmed NPR’s review. It’s astounding to find that both halves of the blurb are misleading. I have to agree with Abe, who feels the publisher might as well have gone whole hog:

Since they were going to misrepresent the original review anyway, I think they should have had the guts to go all the way. Here’s what I came up with:

The most important… fiction… in American history. Read only one book… let this be it.

In for a penny, in for a pound, right?

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