The Journalist and the Murderer Themes

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The Journalist and the Murderer.

At its outset, Malcolm asserts that every reporter is "a kind of confidence man, preying on people's vanity, ignorance or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse." To prove her thesis, Malcolm relates the narrative of the MacDonald-McGinniss lawsuit, which has at its heart MacDonald's contention that McGinniss had not maintained the "essential integrity" of his life story. By contrast, in an interview he gave after the publication of Fatal Vision, McGinniss said that his "only obligation . . . was to the truth." By that, he means the truth as he (and the MacDonald trial jury) saw it: MacDonald's guilt—not the truth that he presented to MacDonald: a belief in his innocence.

McGinniss claimed no wrongdoing. At his trial his lawyers brought in other journalists and nonfic-tion authors to defend his actions. William F. Buckley, Jr., admitted that he would...

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This section contains 736 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Journalist and the Murderer Study Guide
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