Overheard Everywhere



If you don't know what's new with Seven Second Delay and this blog, I recommend you read Ken's WFMU Blog post, or the Gawker article, or the Fishbowl New York article.

Or you should look at Listener Robin's screenshot and compare it to the current page of the Metropolitan Diary.

Or, you could always check my e-mail or listen to my voice mails.

Subject: fabrication
From: "Mike Pollak" [pollakm@nytimes.com]
Date: Tue, February 13, 2007 4:37 pm

Dear Ms. Silenzi:

This is Michael Pollak, the editor at The New York Times who you lied to several weeks ago.

We are publishing a correction of your Metropolitan Diary item of Feb. 12, noting that it was a deliberate hoax, and that when you were called by The Times, you falsely stated that you wrote the item, that it was truthful in all respects, that the events described actually happened and that you could vouch for the next-door neighbor whose son was mentioned in the letter. We plan to print your name and that of the Wesleyan radio station.

Michael Pollak
Staff editor


Please note that he has confused WFMU in Jersey City, NJ with my radio station, WESU in Middletown, CT.

And, of course, you can listen to tonight's live show from 6-7PM EST on WFMU. I think Ken and Andy might have a good show topic in mind.

36 comments:

jwgh said...

Wow. Let the public shaming begin!

time to pounce! said...

As an editor of the New York Times, Mr. Pollack might want to bone up on the difference between 'who' and 'whom'.

Robin said...

Oh horrors! The precious precocious child in the story does not in fact exist! But he could, my friends... he could! In a wonderful dream.

I blame Andy. He's the PuppetMaster!

Duncan said...

"who you lied to" is such a funny way to kick off a letter.

Duncan said...

Also, may I say I have never been prouder to be involved with this blog.

Robin said...

Andrea I am sorry too! And also that jerkwad at the Times has quite an inflated sense of power.

Anonymous said...

Continue this trainwreck of an episode, the NYTer's have already won.

Anonymous said...

consider the show salvaged and my words eaten...

jwgh said...

Man, Michael Pollak is lecturing us pretty hardcore.

Andrea said...

ken and andy are the greatest!

Robin said...

For someone in charge of "funny" anecdotes, dude has no sense of humor.

Duncan said...

I checked out Michael Pollak, by the way, and he was the FIRST hit on google. That's some pretty arrogant stuff.

jwgh said...

Well, that was pretty amazing. I hope you don't get in any real trouble, Andrea. (If the editor of the Metropolitan Diary has the power to deny people Fulbrights then it is a very strange world we live in.)

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing Mr. Pollak, when he was young, "never missed a beating" in school.

time to pounce! said...

It was amusing that Mr. Pollack presented himself as a defender of the entertainment values of old people. Andy really could have challenged him on that; after all, who knows more than the creator of Monk about how senior citizens like to be entertained?

Anonymous said...

When this blog first revealed that the FMU story had been accepted, I went to the NYT website, read the last entry as directed by the blog, and chuckled over the gullibility of the NYT in accepting a fiction so obviously designed to meet the Diary's quirky standards: a story of a poor bum urging a presumably upscale female jogger to complete her workout. It was much later that I realized the FMU story had already been deleted and the one I read was supposed to be true. Yeah, right.

Anonymous said...

I can't help but note that the two times Andrea has played a big role in the show, it has gone right to the edge, with Ken and Andy dancing and throwing confetti the whole way. Good work, girl!

jwgh said...

Anonymous commenter from 8:04 pm, you are totally making Mr. Pollak cry right now. I hope you're happy, you meanie.

I feel that it's oddly nice that the guy who is in charge of the Metropolitan Diary takes his job so seriously. Wouldn't it be a little sad if he thought his job was a joke?

akb said...

I thought the same thing about the Metropolitan Diary jogger story from the same day. It sounded like bullshit. How did the homeless person know how many laps the narrator planned to do? All lies. And if it is true, know what isn't funny? Someone having to exercise to work off the extra food they eat while a homeless person waits in a soup line.

Duncan said...

But they're so endearingly poor...

Fatty Jubbo said...

tonight's show was fantastic- I was smiling all the way through. I almost choked on some food when Andy started to scream for no apparent reason.

The kid! That's a classic sound bite!

It's perfect that they got through to Pollack. I was on the edge of my seat wondering if Andy would slip up with something obnoxious and Pollack would just hang up.

As for the jogger story...yikes- reminds me of some sickly sacharine romantic comedy where Meg Ryan is lonely city-dwelling yuppie...this would be the little vignette in the opening credits to establish her lonely but "such a great nice gal" character. y'know...she's nice and city-saavy because she talks to homeless people.

Aaron said...

Just listened to tonight's show. Fantastic work. My favorite part of a 7SD show is the moment, which admittedly doesn't happen in every episode, where it all comes together. I don't care what Mr. Pollack says: Andy and Ken made it right tonight.

Robin said...

I agree with everyone who said the shows with Andrea are a slam-dunk. Also, when everything comes together in the last 10 minutes it's gold. For some reason there is always a bit of floundering and despair, and then Jackpot.

As for the Dear Diary section, I am afraid Mr. Pollak seems to think this was a "prank" pulled off by some snotty young hipsters who think they are too cool for school and want to Stick It To The Man (and party all night long!) by jerking around some sweet old people who like reading fluffy heartwarming anecdotes. That was not the intention! I'm afraid that the use of the term "Punk'd" by Gawker and Fishbowl sort of lend credence to that point of view.

As said by others here, just that bum/jogger story alone reeks of bull-doody, as do most of the other precious stories in the Dear Diary section. And who cares? If it makes people smile, why even fact-check? Why print a retraction? Just let it go, because I assure Mr. Pollak that most of the Dear Diary entries are fabrications anyway, and as Grampa Joe was overhead to say with much consternation to a charming homeless man and a 5-year old, "That ain't right!"

Ken said...

My only regret was not asking Michael Pollak about his implied threat to torpedo Andrea's Fulbright application.

Don't worry Andrea, I will hold Andy to his promise to keep you next in line for the Monk PA job. But believe me, you can do a whole lot better than that.

-ken

John said...

I'm sorry for poor Andrea. I'm sure she never would have participated in this dangerous stunt if she'd realized that the great Michael Pollak was going to publish a correction in the newspaper of record! The horrors!

Listener Bill said...

You know, this may explain the thin-skinned response a bit:

http://www.cyberjournalist.net/news/003186.php

Looks like this isn't the first time the editorial skepticism hasn't been up to snuff over there.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, what an incredible prank. You lie to a fact-checker and get a fake story into a column based on reader-contributed anecdotes. You certainly are a paradigm-destroying rebel! Or maybe just a self-congratulatory little creep. But definitely one of the two.

Anonymous said...

You certainly are a paradigm-destroying rebel! Or maybe just a self-congratulatory little creep. But definitely one of the two.

You sound like one of those people who has been honing their insult technique on the internets for many years. That is really sad.

I was so happy to see the Times get punked like this. Mike Pollak's sanctimony is a cover for the fact that his job is a joke.

Robin said...

anon at 12:53PM, see above posts please for explanation of intentions.
Good use of the word paradigm. But I prefer to think of it as pushing the envelope of being pro-active. ^_^

Anonymous said...

Andrea!
Thanks for striking "some kind of great blow for hipness!"

Anonymous said...

So, bottom line: It's true your a liar?

Robin said...

Our collective trousers are ablaze.

Chivito said...

That editor was such a weenie! Just hearing him made me feel like I was in the principal's office.
But Andy did get him to laugh once, if I'm not mistaken.

Anonymous said...

The rumors are now that this might spell the end of the Metropolitan Diary:

http://gawker.com/news/metropolitan-diary/prank-might-kill-metropolitan-diary-237136.php

In which case, the next Seven Second Delay will be:

Save The Metropolitan Diary!!

-ken

Anonymous said...

Yes, he definitely laughed! If you listen at about 57:15, Andy tells him that they made the story happen by finding a 5-year old boy... and the guy laughs! He likes the idea! He thinks it's cool! Then he catches himself and gets all stuffy again. I think Mr. Pollack is a secret hipster yearning to be free. Right, Mr. Pollack? (We know you're reading this.) I bet he'll show up at the next record fair. I picture a lean and mostly bald guy wearing Sigmund Freud-style orbital glasses, hiding in the shadows, going up to young women and saying, "You're cute...are you Andrea?" A year from now he'll be volunteering at the station. By the way, props to Andy for trying to take the heat off Andrea.

Robin said...

How can Pollak be opposed to the Diary? That runs completely contrary to the things he said Wednesday... this Gawker article has a stinky smell to it.

I also heard him laugh.