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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 20, 2006 / 20 Teves, 5766

Can't handle the truth? Try ‘truthiness’

By Clarence Page


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | When the American Dialect Society recently named "truthiness" to be its 16th annual Word of the Year, the choice sounded like a joke. New revelations about James Frey's partly made-up best-selling drug addiction memoir make "truthiness" sound timely and downright prophetic.


Frey admitted last week that he embellished some details of his life in "A Million Little Pieces," such as serving time in prison. He actually served a few hours in a lockup for traffic violations and DUI. The Smoking Gun Web site blew his cover, reporting that he "wholly fabricated or wildly embellished details of his purported criminal career, jail terms and status as an outlaw 'wanted in three states'"


Frey says that he tried to sell his manuscript as a novel and more than a dozen publishers turned it down. After he called it a memoir at his agent's suggestion, according to Newsweek, Doubleday bought it and it went on to sell more than 3.5 million copies. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but "truthiness" apparently sells better.


The American Dialect Society defines "truthiness" as "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true." The society credits Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert for the neo-word, which he use to describe the appeal of certain blowhard cable TV pundits and their alleged no-spin zones.


Some disappointed fans of Frey's book are not amused. A Chicago woman, Pilar More, has sued Doubleday, the book's publishers, alleging consumer fraud in Doubleday's reported decision to sell the volume as a memoir instead of a novel.


Yet, the controversy is not expected to affect the book's future sales, except to increase them. As the old show-business adage goes, any publicity is good publicity, especially in a book business that looks more like show business with each passing year.


Oprah Winfrey helps. Her book club endorsed the book in September, igniting its rocket climb up the non-fiction best-seller lists, and she did not turn against the book when it turned out to be less than the whole truth. During an on-air telephone call to CNN's "Larry King Live" on which Frey was appearing last week, she offered a novel defense of the semi-novel: Even if some of its facts are false, its truths are too compelling to be ignored.


"That underlying message of the redemption of James Frey still resonates with me, and I know that it resonates with millions of other people who have read the book," Winfrey said.


Can't handle the truth? Try truthiness, Oprah seems to be saying, especially if its embellished story of struggle further confirms the feel-good, live-your-dreams message you want it to provide. The truth may make you free, but the truthiness will help you to feel better about yourself.


A similar reaction has protected the late Alex Haley's Pulitzer Prize-winning "Roots," an admittedly fact-based-but-fictionalized account of his family's history. "Roots" became a runaway success as a book and one of the most-watched made-for-TV movies of all time. Its popularity has survived for 30 years, despite Haley's being sued for plagiarism (he settled two suits out of court) and accused of simply making up large passages.


When challenged, Haley called his work "faction," a blend of fact and fiction in an effort to give his people some myths to live by. That effort worked. After years of having our national memory of slavery shaped by the mythologizing of "Gone with the Wind" or "Mandingo," Haley's "faction" fed a national curiosity about a black family's side of the story. The "truthiness" of "Roots" seemed more real than fiction, even though it was essentially fiction based on fact.


Is this, then, the dawning of an Age of Truthiness? In fact, that age began long ago in the movie world with the all-purpose disclaimer: "based on actual events." The disclaimer guarantees us nothing, yet lends amazing weight to movies as varied as "JFK," "Jarhead," "Munich" or "The Exorcism of Emily Rose." Regardless of how near to or far from the truth such films may be, they soon become the perceived reality shared widely by millions of viewers, far more than would be reached by the books or articles upon which such films are based.


Movies are not books. If publishers can get away with marketing fiction as nonfiction simply because fudged facts sell better than reliable ones do, what is to become of history? What becomes of serious journalism? Audiences are confused enough about whether they should trust major media without book publishers adding to the confusion.


Before their industry's credibility deteriorates further, it would be better for publishers to follow Hollywood's example with books like Frey's memoir: Prominently display the Hollywood disclaimer, "Based on actual events," across the cover. Otherwise, the truthiness hurts.

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