Kitty Kelley ("Unauthorized, But Not Untrue," Winter 2011) was absolutely correct in her jaundiced assessment of "authorized" biographies. The real or perceived notion that the subject of a biography exerts editorial power over the final product undermines any credibility the work may have.
Kelley's critics sound foolishly self-serving when they assail her "unauthorized" (read: independent) investigations and yet fail to identify a single factual error in her work.
A lifelong writer and editor, I ruefully agree with Kelley's take on the declining state of American journalism generally. As coverage of celebrities and politics wallows in the shallows of banality, it's increasingly obvious that our media are manipulated. The lust for profit, combined with craven institutional cowardice, reinforces a statist agenda by dumbing down the daily "news" report.
Fort Pierce, Florida
Kitty Kelley wonders why people don't like unauthorized biographers. Oprah, for example, worked for decades building her brand. Whether or not you're a fan, you must concede that...