Many digital media entities (including this one) appreciate writers inserting personal anecdotes, thoughts or, gulp, opinions into their writing. It’s a practice that would have been considered journalistic heresy years ago but these days is often encouraged because it can make stories more interesting and, well, personal (some might even call it “masturbatory“). But yesterday’s confession from New York Observer writer Drew Grant (who briefly covered weekends for Mediaite well before I started) may have established a new line in the journalistic sand. She casually gloated about getting high off illegal “mushrooms” with her colleagues before attending the premiere party for the IFC program Portlandia at the Museum of Natural History, an event to which she was invited in her role as a reporter.
According to her story in the Observer:
As we dashed our way to the Museum of Natural History last night in order to see what could possibly top the catchphrase “Put a Bird On It,” we split the giant confection with a fellow famished coworker. Which would have all been fine, if we hadn’t made the completely understandable mistake of confusing “chocolate truffles” for “chocolate-covered mushrooms.” No, not truffle mushrooms. The other kind. (In hindsight, putting actual truffle mushrooms into chocolate doesn’t make any sense either.)
We guess that’s why your parents warned you never to take organic candy from strangers. Ooh look, there’s Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig! Are those two glowing, or is just the hallucinogens kicking in?
Huh? So is she suggesting that she consumed a chocolate covered hallucinogen before attending an event at the coincidentally psychedelic Museum of Of Natural History by accident? As she points out “putting actual truffle mushrooms into chocolate doesn’t make any sense either.” Those with “expertise” on the matter, inform us there is no mistaking a truffle for a “shroom” even if dipped in chocolate. But assuming it was an accident, Grant hardly seems sanguine or mortified that she took illegal drugs before attending a work event. In fact, just the opposite. Her article proudly discloses this fact as incidentally as if she was describing the after effects of overcoming some bad sushi. “It’s not something I had planned,” Grant said in an interview with Mediaite, “it wasn’t a stylistic choice — that’s not how journalism works. I just report on what happened and I felt it would be disingenuous leaving it out.” What’s funny is most of her article is about her long strange trip — and less about what actually happened at the premiere.
While I guess she gets some credit for honesty, but even by the lax and liberal New York media standards I am pretty sure she is right that this is not how journalism works. That does not mean, however, she won’t be celebrated by many. One commenter even gushed, “Hunter Thompson would have been proud of you!
You can almost envision Grant’s magical mystery tour into psilocybin as a sketch from Portlandia, where fauxhemian journalists trip out and get spaced out of their minds before interviewing their unsuspecting, sober subjects, which is almost as good as knowing what happened on the actual show…but alas, it’s not like this is a column on the premiere of the show Portlandia or anything.
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