Playing By Ear: Betraying Listeners & Readers

Margaret B. Jones a.k.a. Margaret Seltzer. [Photo: Sol Neelman/On Point]On Point radio host Tom Ashbrook delivered a chagrined but convincing mea culpa after the NYT reportedd the latest literary hoax. Ashbrook interviewed the author of Love and Consequences on Feb. 29, and he swallowed her story hook, line, and sinker. Here’s how he introduced his follow-up show on March 5:

“It was an amazing story — Margaret B. Jones, half white, half Native American, growing up criminal and loved in South Central LA, dealing drugs at twelve, getting a gun for her birthday when she was fourteen, running with Bloods and Crips and the gang life. Incredible. And a complete fraud. The news this week: the Margaret B. Jones we welcomed on this show last week is really Margaret Seltzer, grown child of a cushy suburb. And her new memoir? She made it all up. Holy smokes. It happened to Oprah with James Frey. Now it’s happened to us.”

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