Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Solomon's Q&A playing fast and loose? NY Press

New York Press - MATT ELZWEIG - Questions for the Questioner: "When I began my reporting three weeks ago, this story was slated to be a benign profile of an incisive, witty, cantankerous, high-profile-but-not-quite-famous, powerful, puzzling, playful, combative contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine. Through Deborah Solomon’s weekly column, a Q-and-A interview that has become a popular staple of the Times’ Sunday magazine since its launch in 2003, the former art critic and author of two biographies has developed a voice easily as distinctive as the ones she features.

Most of my interviews with people in Solomon’s column over the years reflected positive overall experiences. (Several of those contacted either declined to comment or didn’t respond to requests for an interview.) But after conversations with two prominent Solomon Q-and-A subjects—Ira Glass, the popular host of NPR’s “This American Life,” and Amy Dickinson, the nationally-syndicated advice columnist who replaced Ann Landers in 2003—the story became more complicated. Both Glass and Dickinson, without any prompting and in significant detail, told me that in the published versions of their interviews, Solomon had made up questions, after the fact, to match answers that, at least in one instance, she had taken out of their original context."


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