Because it reveals the Media Brain Police for who they are.
Granted, this guy was a real artist but can you imagine the armies of lesser charlatans out there who furnish us with our news each and every day? No media bias or fake news here, right?
The furore surrounding Der Spiegel journalist Claas Relotius is back, with a book by the colleague who exposed him –
Fiction and non-fiction can feed off each other in unusual ways. In the winter of 2018, Germany was shaken by the biggest media scandal since the forged Hitler diaries, after it emerged that the country’s bastion of investigative journalism – DER SPIEGEL – had published stories by a reporter who had “fictionalised” his prize-winning articles with armies of invented characters. Now the “Relotius scandal” has gone into its second round, with the publication of a non-fiction book by the journalist who exposed his fraudulent colleague: a detective story about the search for truth in the era of fake news that makes a more gripping read than most novelists could have managed…
Before he was exposed, he had won the top prize for German reporters, the Reporterpreis, four times in six years. One judge praised his stories as jumping off the page “almost like literature”. He was in line for a promotion at Der Spiegel.
“Reality is in the business of killing off fiction.”
“In 7,300 words he really only got our town’s population and average annual temperature correct, and a few other basic things, like the names of businesses and public figures, things that a child could figure out in a Google search. The rest is uninhibited fiction (even as sloppy as citing an incorrect figure of citywide 70.4% electoral support for Trump, when the actual number was 62.6%), which begs the question of why Der Spiegel even invested in Relotius’ three week trip to the U.S., whether they should demand their money back from him, and what kind of institutional breakdown led to the supposedly world-class Der Spiegel fact-checking team completely dropping the ball on this one.”