The Journalist and the Murderer
The Journalist and the Murderer — By Janet Malcolm
Malcolm explores the uneasy, seductive and ethically complex relationship between journalist and subject, interviewer and interviewee, seen through the example of the lawsuit between convicted murderer Jeffrey MacDonald, and author Joe McGinniss, author of Fatal Vision. Malcolm is painfully aware that while examining the relationship between journalist and subject, she also participates in these relationships with the people she interviews, including MacDonald.
Janet Malcolm’s examination of this troubling topic is especially interesting in light of her own experience in this area. She was sued by Jeffrey Masson over misquotations in a New Yorker article and her book In the Freud Archives. For more about this controversial book and its author, see this Salon article by Craig Seligman.