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Gwyneth Paltrow Versus The New York Times Fact-Checking Department

Gabe Delahaye | March 19, 2012 - 12:30 pm

A recent article in the New York Times about cookbook ghostwriters included a photo caption naming Julia Turshen as Gwyneth Paltrow’s ghostwriter on her cookbook, My Father’s Daughter. Sure! I mean, Gwyneth Paltrow is a movie star and a mother of two. She’s married to an international “rock” star. And to make matters worse, the $2,300 coffee machine is broken. The point is, she’s busy. Oh, I also forgot to mention, in case it needs to be said: she’s not a writer! (Or a cook for that matter, but let’s not make things TOO complicated for ourselves.) It just makes sense that she would have a ghostwriter for her cookbook. But Gwyneth Paltrow took to Twitter over the weekend to refute these outrageous claims. “Love @nytimes dining section but this weeks facts need checking. No ghost writer on my cookbook, I wrote every word myself,” she wrote. Haha, right. No, totally. If there are two things that this Tweet clears up, it’s that Gwyneth Paltrow definitely wrote every word in her cookbook, because she says that she did, and that the New York Times needs a better fact-checking department, because they just print stuff that is probably made up, like this paragraph:

Julia Turshen, who is writing a second cookbook with Gwyneth Paltrow after their collaboration on “My Father’s Daughter,” began as the ghostwriter for the ghostwriter on a book by Mario Batali, tagging along with a notebook as the chef filmed a culinary romp through Spain.

What is going on with this war on fact-checkers?

Like, did you guys pay attention to the whole This American Life versus Mike Daisey thing last week? I haven’t listened to the exculpatory follow-up episode, but I heard the original Daisey episode about conditions in the Foxconn factory that produces Apple products, and I read This American Life’s press release explaining the errors, borrowed anecdotes, and whole-cloth fabrications. Eek! Perhaps the most egregious aspects of that story are how he claims that his work is simply “theater,” when he absolutely 100% positions himself as an (albeit amateur) journalist attempting to discover FACTS and TRUTH, but even more importantly that he just straight-up lied to the TAL fact checking department who were CHECKING THE FACTS of his piece. You don’t get to lie to a fact-checking department AND claim after the fact that it was just theater and you’re an entertainer. “Oh, I thought you were just fact-checking my ostensibly journalistic work as a GOOF.”

What does Gwyneth Paltrow even care? I mean, the number of people who are going to actually even bother to read a New York Times article about what it’s like to ghostwrite cookbooks is already crazy small, and from that you only have a small subsection of people who care about the Gwyneth Paltrow reference, and from there it’s an even smaller subset of people who would actually have a negative opinion (or any opinion at all) about her using a ghostwriter. If anything, she’s drawing way more attention to the whole situation than was ever necessary, but that’s how Impossible Narcissism works. You can’t just flip the switch on that shit! But to accuse one of the world’s most venerable and respected journalistic institutions of printing falsehoods like her stupid fucking cookbook is THE RUN-UP TO THE WAR IN IRAQ is pretty egregious. And so unlike her. Normally Gwyneth Paltrow is just such a refreshingly down-to-Earth real human being who totally keeps things in perspective and hardly even thinks about herself. Odd. Besides, doesn’t she have something better to do with her time? Shouldn’t she be busy picking out the perfect mid-century bidet for Blue Ivy’s First Summer Home or something? At the very least, it’s surprising that she has time to get into it with the New York Times since apparently she’s writing every word of a whole new cookbook all by herself. It’s going to be so good writtens! (Via TheJaneDough.)