Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bonus Segment, Part Three: My Email to Vanity Fair

Is this what journalism has become?

What a steaming pile of stinking conjecture that article was.

A random woman *just has a strong feeling* that her father may have interviewed Cheryl Strayed back in '95-- but has no proof whatsoever-- and you print this as fact?  Unbelievable. 

I understand that Cheryl Strayed and her multiple press people are going out of their way to scrub the internet of negative press so as to cover up Cheryl's obvious lies about her pretend hike on the PCT, but really, Vanity Fair?  You're playing this game?  Shame on you.

Your article proves nothing.  1) You do not have the article that Mr. Hobo Times supposedly wrote because it was never published (and likely never written).  2) You do not have the photograph that Mr. Hobo Times took of Cheryl (likely because it was never taken).  3) You have absolutely no proof of anything.  All you have is someone who *just knows in her heart* that her dead father-- who conveniently cannot be interviewed-- talked to Cheryl Strayed when she was on her pretend hike.  Oh, but wait, he had a Chrysler LeBaron and had butterscotch candies!  Well, my mistake!  Clearly, only one person in the world would fit that description!  My goodness, you've solved it!

How dare you publish this garbage.  Shame on you.

Why don't you spend some time doing some ACTUAL investigative journalism and look into Cheryl's obviously false claims about her hike-- or is that too much to ask?  Her entire "memoir" is a fabrication.  Her mileage doesn't add up.  Her descriptions of the trail don't match.  People have refused to come forward to validate her claim (go ahead, find the Three Young Bucks and see if they'll tell you everything is true, I dare you). Look into that if you want to prove that you're even half a step above The National Inquirer. 

Shame on you.  I'll never read your publication again.  On the same note, I have thousands upon thousands of readers who will also boycott your magazine (and who will also tell their thousands upon thousands of friends to do the same) the minute I post your article, my synopsis of it and my encouragement to boycott you.

Please tell me that you're going to correct this.

E. Parete
Califohioan@gmail.com

24 comments:

  1. I'm so thankful that I have something other than the dumb fucking movie to write about, and tomorrow I will post the VF "article," along with my commentary. Go ahead and Google "Vanity Fair Cheryl Strayed Hobo Times" and read the big bag of bullshit they published under the guise of fact. It. Is. Maddening.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think it is interesting that Hopkins himself did not offer any opinion as to Stetson's daughter's conjectures. Wasn't Stetson Hopkins' brother-in-law? Also, if this event had happened, I would imagine Stetson would have AT LEAST pitched the story to Hopkins, even if it didn't make it to print.

    Also this: "Many of his old friends from high school and college have written to me to say that they felt I portrayed him so much the way they remembered him and many of them recognized him even before they realized I was actually writing about “their Doug." Maybe the people who knew Bob are right and it was him since they think it was (i.e., it seemed like him to them).” uh - what?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heck, yeah, Lauren. This is all so obviously true and well researched, how dare we question it.

      Delete
    2. I just read a couple of other articles written by Katie Calautti. Imho, she's just not that good...reminds me of a spoiled little rich girl. As far as her research, one article in NY Magazine where she interviews one person who supposedly gives the "real" interpretation of the NYC music scene in the 60's (to refute the Coen Bros "Inside Llewyn Davis version in the movie), totally disregarding that the Coen Bros movie was NOT a documentary and was only loosely based on one real person's experience as a musician during a short space of time. This makes me think it is so fitting that YOU are questioning Katie Calautti's journalism From what I've seen of her writing & now this horribly written piece for Vanity Fair, she & Cheese Liar are cut from the same cloth. Attention seeking, narcissistic little twerps who make shit up along the way.

      Delete
  3. I never once denied being a douchebag, everybody. I own my douchebaggery. That said, nothing I stated was false.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you, Erin. I just reread this article and I still cannot believe it made it past the wastebasket. It makes no sense and reads like it was written by a 13-year-old, hopped up on caffeinated Snapple. Mystery solved? What is mystifying is why people are so eager to defend this lying POS and that formerly reputable publications are jumping on the bandwagon, too. There is nothing to admire about Cheryl-Cheese: a selfish, lying user of people who has accomplished nothing "real". I've also read rumors that the letters to Sugar are made up by her, too. You're right...it is maddening.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "...a 13-year-old hopped up on caffeinated Snapple." BAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA Brilliant!

      Thanks for enjoying it, Cindi. In all honesty, I considered taking this post down because I wrote it after having spent the day watching the stupid movie and writing about the stupid movie and sucking down a bottle of wine, but pfffffffft, there's no fun in taking it down; I own my fuckery. I'm not the new Jesus.

      Delete
    2. I am so glad you did not take it down! I am also glad that you're not the new Jesus. I do think that Jesus would totes be into exposing lies and lying liars.

      Delete
  5. Love the open letter! I have to wonder if someone from the media is "on the case" and looking into Strayed's Tall Tale as we speak. Hopefully she'll get called out before more of this happens:
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-17/kate-matrosova-bnp-paribas-trader-dies-in-mountain-hike-at-32

    Nope, backpacking isnt hard at all. Grab a bag and hit the trail! All those elitist who say it's dangerous are just trying to keep you from becoming the bestest YOU you can be. Self-actualize, sweet peas! You're important and YOU matter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm, I wonder if she has recently read the stupid book or seen the stupid movie. Maybe her husband will let us know.

      Delete
    2. No, she seems pretty savvy to me, given that she had an emergency locator beacon with her. Even the best sometimes tempt fate, and that illustrates the point even more so. If you put your story out there as a wilderness lover, you take on the responsibility of safety education. Experienced people die, and it's on you to take your initiation of the inexperienced seriously.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, Kate Matrosova was actually born in Siberia, so she probably had experience in extreme weather conditions. I think that's the point, if experienced hikers can run into trouble, the notion of popping by the REI then wandering out into the Wild is jaw-droppingly stupid.

      Delete
  6. I was driving today, running errands & thinking to myself, "why does Cheryl-Cheese & the Vanity Fair thing make me so mad?" I came to the conclusion that it does, because it is so blatant, dishonest and just not right. The stupid book is hyped all over the place and so is the movie & it is all WRONG! Then, you have people like PMags.com defending her while saying he's not defending her & deleting people's comments (like mine & Tory's). And Cheryl-Cheese who has 3 FB pages for the sole purpose of glorifying her own fucking self and again any "questioning" comments are deleted & those commenters are blocked. James Frey was kicked to the curb & ostracized. The lying piece of Cheese is going the the damn Oscars. This is just not right!!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I was reminded of David Carr's book when reading your blog - he wrote a memoir then fact-checked it extensively as if he were reporting on someone else. Basically the antitheses of WILD.
    And I'm glad you didn't take this down, that article was absurd and the timing of it was weird, why is it appearing now (and not when the book came out?).

    ReplyDelete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Chris. I'm glad Erin didn't take this down and I plan on contacting Vanity Fair, too. I think this stupid "report" about a mystery being solved is as a result of the recent release of the movie.

      Delete
    2. I'm totally fine with calling VF out on their bullshit. There were, however, two things about my post that gave me pause (after I calmed down and reread everything, hahaha):

      First, that I was calling attention to the fact that I have thousands of readers. This is absolutely true-- I do, in fact, have thousands of readers in over 60 countries and all of you are fucking awesome-- but when I reread everything, it struck me as bragging and that's not at all what I meant or what I do. I'm the daughter of an ex-nun and an ex-priest, for christ's sake; I'm a pro at humility. I only included this fact in my email to them because I wanted to give them a good reason for retracting (money=everything, after all, and the possibility of lost revenue works like magic) Posting it openly on my blog, however, made me feel like an asshole even though I was just copying and pasting the email I sent to them.

      Secondly, I do not and would never presume that my suggestion to boycott VF would sway any of your actions. You guys-- the people who read and enjoy this blog-- are an incredibly intelligent group of people and I wouldn't presume that you would blindly follow any of my suggestions just because I'm the one who made them. YOU AREN'T CHERYL FANS. You're smart people. It was more of a jab at VF, but they don't know that.

      Anyway. That's why I considered taking it down-- not because VF isn't totally in the wrong-- but because I felt like I was coming off as a braggart and I hate that shit.

      I will now go post this on all twelve thousand of my fake FB pages to let everyone know how awesome I am.

      Delete
    3. Eh, there were already lots of reasons to ignore Vanity Fair.

      Delete
    4. Yeah, I was never a VF reader to begin with, but I didn't think that information would have helped my cause:


      Dear Vanity Fair,
      I never read your publication and because of this article (that I never would have read had it not been brought to my attention because again, I don't read your publication), I will now CONTINUE TO NEVER READ YOUR PUBLICATION.

      Hugs and Kisses,
      Me


      Just doesn't have the same bite.

      Delete
    5. "Dear Vanity Fair: You will never attract new consumers to your dying product with shit like this!"

      But they will. We live in a world where people love stuff like Wild and Fifty Shades and Eat Pray Love and *think it's good*. We're done for.

      Delete
  9. Motherfucker...comment got lost when I signed into my Google acct. Just wanted to delurk to say I've enjoyed every entry in this blog since I found it linked on GOMI. I don't know what you plan to write about next, Erin, but I can only hope you share YOUR story. The bits of your life you've shared in the comments are fascinating.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Snicker, snicker... "bits."

      Thanks, Tracy. I don't think I'm interesting enough for a memoir, but after I walk the ADT next year, maybe I'll try to cram a bunch of clumsy personal flashbacks into the book I'll be writing about the journey. Cheryl Strayed teaches writing workshops; maybe I should attend one so I can learn how to write.

      Delete
  10. Tosh.0 weighed in and, I think, will drive traffic to your blog. Lol.

    ReplyDelete