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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Seattle boom an inconvenient truth for Republicans

While I was a newspaper reporter years ago, a colleague questioned my use of a made-up story to describe how a student's training in CPR saved the life of a heart-attack victim. I didn't reveal until the end of the article that the story was a description of what could happen, based on what I observed during the high school class.

I thought the article was effective, even accurate, and clear, eventually, about its "characters." I later wrote a similar story while working in PR. But I've wondered. ...

This article by columnist Danny Westneat in the Seattle Times takes that idea to another level, I think, by providing ironic quotations and attributing them to real people. It also reveals at the end that it's an imagined story. The subhead on the column subtly suggests its not true by concluding with the word "Not." I missed it when first reading the column.

Instead, I was astounded and overjoyed while reading the article until I reached its conclusion. There Westneat reveals that he had only imagined the story, except for this: 

The part about how Seattle with all its taxes and rules and supposedly socialistic groupthink is also one of the hottest spots for capitalism and jobs in the nation?
That’s true. Inconvenient to the politics of the day. But true.
Though I appreciate the point of irony Westneat was making, I question the method. I know I occasionally make up quotations now in Facebook posts to "paraphrase" politicians and pundits I don't like. But I'm not a reporter or a newspaper columnist. 

Am I hypocrite, wrong, or right in the concern I'm expressing?

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