I was interviewed for AM New York this weekend and I guess it got published today. I just got a chance to read it, and while I am really appreciate that this lady went out of her way to get my blog publicity or whatever, I feel a little bummed about the interview for one main reason that I'd like to mention. The way it's formatted, with questions in bold followed by answers underneath, with no quotation marks or ellipses anywhere in sight, leads a reader to believe that these are the questions and answers, verbatim, as spoken during the interview. Thing is, though, I don't think this woman actually recorded the interview, because it reads like she just wrote notes on what I said and published those notes as my statements. She left out immensely crucial facts and details, and kept in ones that didn't matter. It is totally not pertinent what pizzeria I was at in Colorado Springs if you're not gonna publish the part where I riff on the goofy name. And mentioning that the waiter was taking notes while I criticized the slice is unimportant if you don't bother to mention that the ONLY REASON he cared about my opinion was because I am from Brooklyn.
Another issue I have with cutting apart and reassembling my sentences like some journalistic game of Exquisite Corpse is that it doesn't read anything like me talking. I write pretty much just like I talk. Ask Meredith. Ask Jon Spies. They'll tell you. And in this interview I sound like a boring asshole who speaks in weird, terse, staccato statements. Maybe I am a boring asshole! But you know when you're working the cash register at a job and someone else starts ringing on your register a bunch, and then at the end of the day you're off by $15 and you can't help but think it's their fault even though it's just as likely your fault? It's like that. If my side of the interview had been published in it's entirety, or at least mention had been made that it'd been edited, I would feel a little better. I probably just don't know anything about the newspaper.
The most egregious error, though, is that she left out a crucial element of what I consider a perfect slice. "The dough should be about half the size of the crust, and it should fold well. Sauce shouldn’t be too sweet and it shouldn’t be cheap cheese. It should smell good." That's what it says I said. I totally specified how thick the dough should be, which doesn't matter in the scheme of things, but "it should fold well?" Come on! It shouldn't just "fold well." The bottom should be cooked so hard that it cracks open like the callouses on my dad's feet, while retaining a fluffy, soft, undercooked interior of airy, perfect dough. Imagine like, the bread equivalent of a seared tuna steak or something. That is important! Is that important?
Actually I think I'm getting worked up over nothing. I really do think it was super sweet that this lady even wanted to interview me, and she sounded real nice over the phone. I just feel bummed because I think she made me sound boring and I don't think I sounded that boring. Maybe I'm just insecure. My friend Jessi Jetpack said the interview was good. I really like that she kept my "hell no" in for the answer when she asked if I have any food writing experience.
Blah blah. Genuine thanks, lady, but next time mention if you're gonna edit someone or something? I don't know, I come from the punks, where we publish long rambling interviews with assholes in all our publications and editing an interview is a crime. But I'm pretty sure at journalism college they teach you that you're supposed to tell people if you are changing someone's quoted statements?
In short: WHO CARES?!!