David Sedaris and his defenders.

Media criticism.
April 11 2007 7:03 PM

David Sedaris and His Defenders

I guess it all comes down to what your definition of "exaggeration" is.

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Sedaris may be leading in the war of words today, but his real test has yet to come. Most of the pieces cited by Heard come from an earlier part of Sedaris' career, before he was such a regular contributor to The New Yorker, which fact-checks even conjunctions, articles, and prepositions. If "exaggerating" is as innocent as he makes it out to be, he'll eventually revert to the practice because, as he avers, there's nothing wrong with it. But if all of his future pieces are 100 percent verifiable, we'll know where he really stands.

Addendum, 10 p.m.: Daniel Radosh works the Rodney Rothman angle to good effect.

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From bad times come good stories. I think it was Michael Dolan. Can you find an earlier citation? Disclosure: Alex Heard is a friend. (E-mail may be quoted by name unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)

Jack Shafer was Slate's editor at large. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at Shafer.Reuters@gmail.com.