My pet weekend peeve – because it happens every weekend – is journos including themselves in celebrity interviews. Particularly those who do it in the first sentence. You’re interviewing them, you’ve described what they’re wearing, and I’m smart enough to figure out that you’re probably there. That You Met A Famous Person. Good for you.
In yesterday’s Good Weekend Janet Hawley interviewed John Safran. First sentence:
Heading into the night after spending a long, confusing, ultimately illuminating first day with John Safran, the image that remains for me is overwhelmingly of the lonely comedian.
There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for the “for me” to be there.
It’s on “the Jewiest street in Melbourne’s Jewtown – 3183”, Safran had told me with a grin as we wove our way past yarmulke-wearing bearded men ambling into kosher delis.
That’s just taking the piss. The story is about Safran, not Hawley. And as much as she’d like to think so, she is no Hunter S Thompson or Tom Wolfe or Truman Capote or any number of great writers who are/were also journalists. The next sentence – the fourth, for fuck’s sake – starts with “I’d” and on it goes.
In Sunday Life, Claire Black interviewed Maggie Gyllenhaal. First paragraph:
“What does it matter? What do you mean by genuine?” I’ve annoyed Maggie Gyllenhaal, although I didn’t mean to. We were talking about celebrities who get involved with “causes”, and I made the point that it can be hard to swallow when there’s a suspicion that it’s a publicity stunt rather than a real commitment.
Again, absolutely no reason why “I” should be there. It’s just lazy, self-important writing. And fucking annoying.
* Yes, I know there’s one in celebrity, but that would ruin my headline