2012 Tuesday- Discussion Assignment 2

Please read:

  • pages 106 to 133 in Program or Be Programmed. The chapters are called “Fact: Tell the Truth” and “Openness: Share, Don’t Steal.”
  • pages 32 to 80 in Reality Hunger. The chapter titles are “d: trials by google,” “e: reality,” “f: memory,” and “g:blur.”
  • The attached first chapter of John D’Agata’s Lifespan of a Fact.
  • Janet Cooke’s Pulitzer Prize-winning story, “Jimmy’s World” at the Washington Post Archives.
  • This Brief Washington Post blog from two years that gives a little background on Janet Cooke and also gives an update on her life since the article was published and the lie was discovered.

Discussion Assignment
* You will be required to post at least two thoughtful, well-constructed comments or responses in order to earn the full point value each week. Discussion posts must be copy-edited and proofread. Typos happen to everyone but a careful re-reading will allow you to rid your writing of most of them.

After reading this week’s texts, explain:

  • what do you find most interesting about “Jimmy’s World,” by Janet Cooke?
  • what do you find most interesting about John D’Agata’s first chapter in Lifespan of a Fact?
  • as a reader, what do you find most problematic about each of these pieces of writing?

Your comments should be mostly about the ethics behind the works’ creation and the overall effect of the works on you. Please feel free to also comment on things like believable details, character development, the quality of the prose, etc.

Post your responses in the forum below.


23 thoughts on “2012 Tuesday- Discussion Assignment 2

  1. “Jimmy’s World” was quite interesting, and somewhat disturbing to read. Although my reaction was not as extreme as it would have been if I did not know that Jimmy did not exist. Her character development for him I thought as created very well; it was touching, heart-wrenching, and strange at the same time. The most interesting thing I found interesting about this story is the extremes it went to and the details and background about the location in which they lived and also about drugs. Although Cooke says she wanted to have a different position in the news room and believed this was a way to get there, she also mentioned her past with lying. I also found this interesting because it is a bit ironic for a somewhat compulsive liar to be a journalist, in the sense that they are not in fact supposed to stretch the truth, let alone completely fabricate an entire story.

    In John D’Agata’s first chapter in Lifespan of a Fact, I found all of the factual disputes outlined around the story slightly humorous. The editor was struggling to reach out to D’Agata and his peculiar writing style. What I found most interesting was all of his reasons for changing the facts within his story. For example, when he changed the number of strip clubs from 31 to 34 strip clubs, changing the name of a bar, and how many seconds it took Levi to fall from the building. D’Agata makes one of his reasons being that is an essay, not a piece of journalistic writing and that there is no need for fact-checks. He claims that his readers would eventually forgive him for the stretches of truth or slight changes in his piece because it makes for a more interesting story, which is ultimately what people want.

    Problems that can come along with both of these pieces are the credibility issues. I believe this also depends on the reader and what they enjoy to read about. If the reader enjoys the story they are reading, it may not bother to find out that certain facts are not true. On the other hand, this may loose a reader completely. This can also affect the publisher, editor, magazine, or paper for whom they write for. If there is something that is not trustworthy, they can loose interest in the rest of it as well.

    • I definitely agree with your point on Cooke. While the character was created and detailed extremely well, it is ironic that she would think her compulsive lying would get her further in the journalist world. I believe she took it much too far and made it worse by explaining her reasoning for fabricating an entire story and stretching the truth to her devoted readers, seems like very selfish reasoning to me.

  2. As I was reading, Jimmy’s World, it made my stomach kind of tangled with knots. I was so surprised at what I had just read. It’s sad to think that this little boy grew up only knowing drugs. It’s hard knowing Jimmy doesn’t have any person to look up to because the only people he looks up to are him mother and her boyfriend and some older drug dealers. If I read this not knowing Jimmy’s age, I would think that he is a young adult. The part I find most interesting is learning that the boy is 8 only years old. I can’t even imagine knowing such a young little boy who is addicted to drugs. Although this story was upsetting and disturbing, it was a very interesting story to read. I now know many details of Jimmy’s life, his mother’s life and his mothers’ boyfriends life.

    In Lifespan of a Fact, John D’Agata makes it clear that he changes facts throughout the chapter. I find it interesting that he is extremely detailed to the point where he can name the time in seconds even though, he mixes the time up in the chapter but he doesn’t seem to mind. I’m not quite sure why he doesn’t check over what he has written to make corrections but I guess that’s just his writing style.

    I didn’t see a big problem in the first piece about Jimmy. I thought the writer was extremely detailed and nailed the story. I don’t know for sure if it is a true story, but they made it sound very convincing. With John D’Agata’s chapter, I think the only problem was the facts that may or may not be true. It may confuse many readers and they won’t know what’s going on in the story.

  3. I found Janet Cooke’s “Jimmy’s World” to be disturbingly intriguing. At one point, I even found myself so into the story that I felt like I was there and almost forgot it wasn’t real. The most interesting part for me was just that, the fact that she could make this idea, this character seem so real and alive regardless of how crazy it actually sounds. Cooke went into such depth that it was in fact believable, yet strange to me that a journalist would dare to bend the truth that much for a story. As I’m sure it did for many readers, I am disappointed to know that such a well-written story was fabricated in almost every way possible.

    In John D’Agata’s first chapter of “Lifespan of a Fact,” I found a lot of humor in the fact checks. D’Agata seemed to fabricate things that in no way needed to be lied about. Personally, I enjoyed the fact that he changed the number of strip clubs from 31 to 34 simply because “it sounded better.” I also found it really interesting that he thought it was okay to do all of this if it made the story better. Not a true journalist!

    I agree with riley-hazen that as a reader, the most problematic part is the credibility. If readers have to question the credibility of what they’re reading, whether it makes the story better or not, it isn’t going to be a truly entertaining read. For example, as I read “Jimmy’s World,” I was truly intrigued, but it was disappointing to know that I wasn’t getting that back from the author since none of it was true.

    • I agree with your opinion about “Lifespan of Fact.” I agree that the fact-checks were somewhat humorous. It was funny that D’Agata took the time to change things just to change things. The fact-checker seemed to take a lot of time to figure out what was real and what was not. John on the other hand, didn’t really have legitimate reasons as to why he changed some facts that he changed. I don’t think that people should change facts to make something sound better to them however. Although it doesn’t have a huge impact on the story, it’s still lying.

  4. The thing I found most interesting about Jimmy’s World (other than the fact it won a Pulitzer Prize, c’mon, don’t they fact-check this stuff before handing out one of the most prestigious awards possible?!?) was how gripping the story was to read. It is so hard to believe this could be a true story just by its nature alone. How many times in your life do you hear of 8-year-olds addicted to heroin? I was fascinated by his mom’s attitude towards the whole situation. What kind of horrible mother lets her 8-year-old use one of the most addictive drugs in the world? But, had it not been for the disclaimer at the top of the story, I think I would have believed what I was reading, even though it was so unbelievable.

    In Lifespan of a Fact, the thing I found most interesting was how D’Agata so obviously lies to his reader. Some of the facts he changed seemed so unnecessary, such as the number of heart attacks from 8 to 4 because he “like[s] the effect of these numbers scaling down” Granted, if I was reading this story when it was published, I probably wouldn’t have known I was being lied to, however, if I did find it out eventually, I would be upset and have an issue with the rest of the story. It would cause me to be skeptical of the rest of the “facts” in the story and I would have issues believing it was true, even if what I was reading was accurate.

    This brings me to the third point. It has already been mentioned above, but this really gives me a hard time believing what I’m reading. If i knew what I was reading was fabricated and it was presented in a factual medium such as Jimmy’s World was with The Washington Post, I would be extremely disappointed with the author, newspaper, publisher, etc. When I pick something to read and it is labeled as nonfiction, it better be a nonfiction piece. I hope these are just two isolated examples of this happening, but it makes me wonder how much of what I read is true and what publications I can trust.

  5. “Jimmy’s World” by Janet Cooke was completely insulting to me. Some of the prior bloggers expressed how believable the article sounded. I frankly did not find one plausible statement in the article that caused me to believe Jimmy or anyone else in the article was real. What I found most interesting is the fact that Jimmy’s mother was completely cognizant of her son’s addiction. What mother, black or white, would allow anyone to administer drugs to their child?! What I found most problematic were the two statements “Drugs and black folk been together for a very long time” and “So many young black children become involved with drugs because there is no male authority figure present in the home”. There is no scientific research that allows the author to make these false claims. Although one of these statements was used as a quote from Jimmy’s mother, these statements are problematic because being black or the lack of a father figure is not a valid explanation for why Jimmy is on drugs.

    • I don’t necessarily agree with your statement about the mother not being a believable character. You think because she allows her son to be on drugs means that it can’t be real. There are people in the world that turn the other cheek when it comes to their children doing illegal things, and it is a, no offense, ignorant statement to say “what kind of mother would do that?” Obviously not a good mother, but it does happen. It is a sick world out there, and Cooke portrays that in a very disturbing, yet intriguing way.

  6. Another thing I found interesting in Life of a Fact was John and Jim’s conversation back and forth together. I found this talk very amusing. Jim’s concern to give the reader the facts and his subtle suggestions to change John’s fabricated material, along with John’s “F you/F that” attitude towards Jim actually made me chuckle while reading. I would like to see a final version of John’s story and see how much was actually changed when/if this story was ever published. I hope, for Jim’s sake, that at least some of the facts were changed to the truth because I think he was a very likable character and hopefully all his work wasn’t in vain. One final note having to do with Reality Hunger, the chapter that has made me laugh most is 232. After reading it, check the back in the appendix and read the comment for 232, it should bring at least a smile to your face!

  7. In Lifespan of a Fact by John D’Agata, I found his knowledge of so much detail the most interesting. Lifespan reminded me of the scene of Benjamin Button when Benjamin was telling the story of multiple people second-by-second with an overabundance of detail that lead to one of the leading characters to be hit by a car. Benjamin later states that the car accident could have been avoided if one of the people was ahead of schedule or behind schedule. Just as Benjamin, D’Agata has a plethora of information which is interesting because the only way to know all of the detail to be present in each scenario. The biggest problem with Lifespan is the continuation of the story can easily lose a reader. The excess detail takes the readers mind off the bigger picture and draws them to a minor detail.

  8. I’m not surprised “Jimmy’s World” was thought to be a factual story. It is well-written and has an excellent flow to it. In all honesty, had I been on the panel myself I would have given Miss Cooke the Pulitzer too. Having said that, when I read this piece already knowing it was a fabricated story, I looked at it a bit more closely than I would have if I didn’t know of its lies. For instance, the flow was wonderful, too wonderful. Let’s face it, when you’re interviewing someone they never say all the right things you want them to, but in Cooke’s case, they did, which is why she seemed like such a wonderful writer. The other piece of the narrative that made it unrealistic was that, even in the 1970s, I still don’t think anyone would be willing to tell a journalist about their illegal drug addictions.

    In “Lifespan of a Fact,” my favorite part (which has already been mentioned a time or two) is the justification D’Agata gives for altering the facts. 34 instead of 31, 4 instead of 8–it was his piece and he thought certain things sounded better than the facts.

    The biggest problem for me as a reader is that articles such as these make me question the authenticity of published articles in today’s newspapers/magazines/webpages. Although technology makes it much easy to fact-check yesterday’s Daily Iowan piece as opposed to Janet Cooke’s post in the 70s, it still makes me wonder how true to the story journalists really can be. Can you really write without some sort of bias? Can the artist in you stick with verbatim quotes as opposed to switching words around to sound better?

    Needless to say, I will never be a journalist.

  9. “They don’t BE no jobs,” Jimmy says. “You got to have some money to do anything, got to make some cash. Got to be selling something people always want to buy.”

    To me, this is the most striking line in all of “Jimmy’s World”. It is a clear statement about the economical and political situation of the late 1970’s and the transition into the early Reagan era. Jimmy, an eight year old herion addict from the Washington ghetto, casually expresses the frustration of every American during this decisive period in the nations history. All the the empathy for Jimmy that had been building throughout the article reaches a boiling climax when Cooke makes that final pivotal connection between us and this child. Jimmy isn’t just an eight year old robbed of his childhood. He is an embodiment of common man, wronged by those who are meant to protect and provide. Well played Ms. Cooke. Well played.

    • Wow, I hadn’t thought of it like that. Very interesting connection. While I was reading that part, I was thinking that in a way, Jimmy’s whole experience made him more mature than others his age. He even had goals and ways to achieve his goals. Even though the content was bad/negative (doing and selling drugs), growing up in that environment forced him to grow up more and formulate ways to achieve what he wanted to. I also thought that even though it was fake, it probably has some truth to it in some neighborhoods (although maybe without all the specifics). Interesting to point out the link between the jobs and Jimmy/common man.

  10. D’Agata’s book is a very enjoyable read. D’Agata’s character within the book wastes no time in giving us the “mission statement” of the entire piece. I felt that D’Agata (the writer) beats the reader over the head with the book’s desire to challenge notions of “fact”. I really enjoyed D’Agata’s nod to Danielewski’s “House of Leaves” in regard to physical format. The most interesting thing that I gathered from the first chapter was the way in which D’Agata (the author) sets up D’Agata (the character) as the devil’s advocate for story writing rather than fact reporting. I am interested to read more and see how far the author is willing to push his fictional counterpart in order to drive home his point. The more that that D’Agata pushes to argue his agenda, the more he must demonize himself within the book.

    -In Cooke’s article I struggled to believe that an eight year old drug addict’s conversation was really un-doctored. His quotes fit to perfectly into the overall story.
    – In DAgata’s book I was frustrated by the repetitious conversation between John and Jim. I understand that the standpoints of the two characters have to be established, but it seemed forced, rather than natural dialogue.

  11. While reading Jimmy’s World, I was a little uncomfortable, I knew it was a fake story from the warning before the article, but I could only imagine that she got that idea from somewhere or someone. Even though Cooke made the whole thing up I admired her creativity and her ability to make something realistic, obviously realistic enough to be front page material, out of nothing. And her word choice outstanding, but it’s obvious that if it’s made up, any writer of her caliber can create catchy metaphors like, “The needle slides into the boy’s soft skin like a straw pushed into the center of a freshly baked cake.”
    The problem I have with Cooke’s piece is that she lied about it. That article she wrote, although it was fake, made me think about people who turn to drugs and introduce them to innocent children early in their lives. She could have made it a non-fiction piece for a different section of the paper, or she could have made it some sort of public service announcement.

    Although a little confusing at first, I enjoyed Lifespan of a Fact. It just goes to show that even if you change the slightest thing like changing 31 strip clubs to 34, someone can figure it out if you lying thanks to the internet. And even though I will probably never have to deal with a nagging intern at a publishing company, it’s pretty crazy to imagine how much information is accessible to one person.
    The problem I have with D’Agata’s piece is how confusing it was. Maybe it wouldn’t be as hard to read had I read it in an actual book, but his unorthodox writing style really annoyed me.

  12. The most interesting to me while reading Janet Cooke’s, “Jimmy’s World” was that I wasn’t actually able to read it and get the full affect because I knew the story fabricated. Janet added statistics in from Howard University doctors that very may well be true, but I’m confused as to why she would fabricate a story about an eight year old heroin addict. It really bothered me where in her story she stated that Jimmy’s mother said, “Black folks and drugs just go together.” She portrayed his mother being too nonchalant about her eight year child’s drug addiction and I don’t believe that anymore would react that way. It is true that the streets of D.C. are rough and young children are prematurely exposed to situations not every child is but it was very problematic when the details were so shocking that they were unbelievable. If I didn’t know the story was fabricated, it would be more believable coming from an African American writer because many times they have witnessed stories similar to Jimmy’s in their own communities and maybe Janet that’s why Janet thought her story would be believable. I really think what caused her to lose control of the wheel was the details she included about Jimmy’s mother because no mother I know would be so lackadaisical about their child being addicted to heroin and accept it as a way of life.

  13. As I was reading Jimmy’s World, I felt uneasy. I immediately had to go back to the beginning and re-read how old the main character was. I was, however, very impressed by how realistic the story was. I know that it has been said already in the comments above, but I would have had no idea that it was made up. I think that with every detail, Cooke made it more and more believable. Unfortunately, I was very dissatisfied with the mother’s reaction. She thought that since her son would get into drugs later in life anyway, that there is no harm is starting now. I actually hated her character, and I think that she might even be worse that Ron, who sticks the needle in Jimmy’s arm. Ron has no responsibility toward Jimmy’s well-being, but his mother is suppose to, and she still turns the other way.

    The only problem I had with this story was that there wasn’t a clear reason as to why Cooke changed so many details. It almost makes me feel less attached to the story and I don’t feel as bad for Jimmy because I don’t even know what is true and what isn’t about the story. I think perhaps the warning should be on the bottom of the story rather than the beginning.

    In “Lifespan of a Fact,” I thought that the change of facts was more humorous rather than strategic. D’Agata even went to the trouble of changing specific numbers, only because he thought one number “sounded better” than the other.

    My biggest complaint is that it is very confusing to read. I had a hard time following along with the actual story, because there is so much text criticizing the story, and I constantly had to go back a re-read before turning the page.

  14. After reading John D’ Agata’s Lifespan of a Fact I found it interesting that I was not disturbed by the discrepancies in the reading. I feel as if the details that were changed were to increase the reader’s interest and the story did not seem fabricated at all. As opposed to Cooke’s, “Jimmy’s World”, the author’s credibility was ruined. It did however become problematic when the D’ Agata stated that he was not concerned about his credibility, although he was more concerned about the readers interest in the story is there a point when too many discrepancies is considered fabrication?

  15. I was shocked when I first began reading “Jimmy’s World,” because of the severity of the situation. An eight year old that is not only hooked on heroin but it casual about the entire subject. While I understand that this story is fabricated, I think it is meant to show culture shock within the country because there can be extreme cases like this one, even if this particular story is not plausible. What I found interesting was how casual the author wrote about it. Fake or not, I know as a writer this would be a difficult subject for me to write about or interview about. I felt it was very unbelievable to have a Mother within the story who is so careless about her sons life. Regardless of how the son came to be, you would think she would want to name her child and also want a better life for her child. Instead she lets her deadbeat boyfriend shoot up her kid with heroin. That just blows my mind.

    It took me awhile to get into D’Agata’s first chapter because when it began I was not sure what was going on. After I had a handle on the piece I found it to be enjoyable to read. While reading through all of the comments throughout the first chapter, I found myself actually wanting to read the piece John wrote to see how I would feel as the reader knowing this author cheated the story to make it more interesting. I know I would rather have the facts then to have tweaked the story to make it sound more interesting. There was enough in the story to make it fictional rather then non-fiction because John had changed so much of it. I cannot believe a well respected magazine would even consider publishing such a non fact checked story. You would think there would be quite a bit of liability associated with such fib-ups within a story.

    As a reader, I know I want to true and fact checked story if I am reading non-fiction. I want to know the facts without discrepancies. I think there are many readers that would not mind the small altercations to the story for entertainment purposes considering what kind of news hungry society we live in. I almost feel as if a writer is saying, this story and these readers are not worth the true story.

  16. When I first read “Jimmy’s World,” I was slightly desensitized since I knew the story was fabricated. Knowing this, a lot of the quotes from Jimmy seem entirely over-the-top for a 9 year old. I feel like the author assumed these quotes would be believable to the people who would be reading the article. That said, the author did succeed in drawing a picture of the harsh environment and drug culture for readers who are not familiar with that setting. I also enjoyed the visual of Jimmy and his home life, littered with junkies and dysfunction everywhere he turned. While this particular character in this story is not real, I am curious how many children are forced to live under similar conditions.

    Upon reading John D’Agata’s “Lifespan of a Fact,” I wasn’t completely sure how to interpret what I read. My first thought was D’Agata must be explaining what a time-consuming, yet necessary process fact-checking is. I believe facts are worth double-checking for accuracy, so a story like this one built entirely around exaggerated and false facts is very interesting to me. I am also a big fan of including the correspondence between author and fact-checker, just slightly disappointed to learn that at least part of it is fabricated.

  17. What I found most interesting about “Jimmy’s World” was how bizarrely the author portrayed 8-year-old Jimmy. Had I not known that the piece was entirely made up, I probably would have figured out that something was out of place. Even if drugs and the drug trade were the only things that encompassed the kid’s life, he probably wouldn’t talk the way he did. I’ve never heard an 8-year-old talk about anything like that, much less drugs. I wouldn’t feel nearly as outraged if this wasn’t a journalistic piece.

    John D’Agata’s attitude towards his intern editor Jim Fingal in “Lifespan of a Fact” is what’s interesting in the first chapter. The “story” builds up to where the chief editor keeps telling Jim, “just note it and move on,” until you realize that D’Agata is not aiming for accuracy or even an honest story, but rather a intriguing piece of literature that encourages an emotional response from the reader. Jim becomes more frustrated with the liberties in D’Agata’s writing, and it becomes increasingly evident as the chapter rolls on.

    As a reader, I want to know ahead of time whether or not what I’m reading is true factually. Beyond not wanting to be more or less “tricked” into believing something is true, I want to come at a piece of writing with a certain mindset that best facilitates the mission of the writing.

  18. “Jimmy’s World” was sort of funny to me, given that I knew it was fake. I feel like it would have been less comedic if I hadn’t known that it was fake before reading it. It seems like it could have been plausible; I bet that the Washington Post was incredibly upset after it discovered that it was a lie. It wasn’t a bad piece of writing; there are probably bits of the article that really resonate with youth growing up in bad areas. The amount of connection that it builds for the reader is really good. While reading some parts of it, I felt a lot of emotion, and I felt especially bad for Jimmy when his mother talked about how he was named (although I laughed out loud when she said “OK, call him that, who gives a fu–…” in spite of it being fake). It does seem a bit too detailed to be real, unless you consider that if it was real, the writer spent a lot of time interviewing and gathering information directly from the family. The end of it really got me thinking about Jimmy’s future and what ended up happening to him, but then I remembered it was fake. Because it was able to do this, it shows the strength of the writer and is a testament to why she won a Pulitzer Prize. The biggest problem with this piece of writing was that the writer went against the standards that were set by her place of employment. Besides that, I thought the piece was really good, even if it is fiction. Just because a work is untrue doesn’t discredit the genuine emotion that can be evoked from it.
    Lifespan of a Fact was also very funny to me as well. It was interesting to see how much work the fact-checking intern put in to this inquiry and how many times he got shot down by his boss and the writer of the article as well. The writer’s thought process of why he omits and changes certain facts bring up interesting questions about where the line is between art and writing. If the majority of the article is based on facts, but then most of the small details (most of which don’t matter in relation to the actual understanding of the story) deviate from the actual facts, is it fair to call it nonfiction? I don’t know what the answer is to this. What percentage of an article that is going to be published should be 100% correct? There are so many things that cannot be proven that it would be hard to write something interesting if you stuck with very strict guidelines. However, you usually want to be credible when you write articles like these. This makes me wonder about how much this actually occurs in real news, especially since now news is being conveyed faster than ever before with technology. This goes along with Rushkoff’s “Tell the Truth”; if the media is “programming” the news, then it has to make sure that what it is saying is correct, but do small details like the ones in Lifespan of a Fact ever get questioned if a news story was written a few hours after a breaking story? This was a very entertaining piece of writing, and it also brought up so many ideas about the media and truth. The most problematic thing about this would have to be the question of art vis-à-vis journalism.

  19. While reading “Jimmy’s world,” I was very intrigued. I knew that what was being said wasn’t true, but it was still interesting for me to read. The way that the author had Jimmy speak at the age of 8 wasn’t very believable to me at all. The way Jimmy spoke of how important it was for him to be educated in math so that he could become a good dealer seemed somewhat far fetched for a kid of his age. I do believe that many young kids are highly exposed to drug use in their neighborhoods. I think that like the story about Jimmy, it is often times hard to escape using drugs when that is all you are surrounded by. Jimmy’s mother states, “I don’t really like to see him fire up, but, you know, I think he would have got into it one day, anyway. Everybody does. When you live in the ghetto, it’s all a matter of survival.” This statement seemed to be one of the only lines that seemed believable. I think, like stated before that it is difficult for some kids living in the ghetto to stay away from drug use. It made me wonder how many kids out there are actually living the way Jimmy in the story lives.

    After reading John D’Agata’s “Lifespan of fact,” I found the reasoning behind the things that he changed most interesting. Changing the number of strip clubs so slightly because the number “flowed” better seems to me a waste of time. What is the point of having someone fact-check your work if you know that you changed things on purpose? I don’t think that the facts that John changed are that important and i think what he says is still believable. Since he changed his facts in a way that makes his statements still believable, it makes me wonder what sort of information is out there that has been changed and people still believe it. I think that the whole fact-checking process is very tedious. It seems as though most everything that John wrote needed to be corrected in some way. What was the point of John changing all of these facts? Simply because certain numbers sounded better than others?

    I think in “Jimmy’s World,” the whole story seemed too far fetched in general. It was more of a personal story that anyone could have made up. There were few facts that were listed to back up what was going on. Instead, most of the story was dialogue that could have been written by almost anyone with a general understanding of drug abuse. In “Lifespan of Fact,” however, all the information that was presented could very well have been true. What was changed in the story was so small, only a “fact-checker” is likely to catch what was fabricated.

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