Sunday, May 02, 2004

Micah Wright, Liar

Newsarama and the Washington Post revealed that Micah Wright was not an Army Ranger as he had previously claimed to be.

I found this news very shocking when I read it, while I don't know Micah personally I did enjoy large portions of his Stormwatch: Team Achilles work. He is a very capable writer, which is likely why he found it so easy to fool everyone.

For myself, I was one of the ones who bought into his trade drive, to save his Stormwatch series. Yet after careful reflection overnight, I decided to cancel the order for them I had placed through Amazon.

While the stories are enjoyable, I'm not sure if I could get past this bad taste in my mouth reaction to this news to ever enjoy reading them. Plus I feel that I need to put my money where my morals are, and can't in good faith support someone like this.

Reaction around the internet from other comic professionals has been almost unanimously in disfavor of Wright's actions. With one of the most damning being from writer Ron Marz, whose background in journalism gives him a unique perspective on Micah's "apology/defense."

From Broken Frontier

But, I couldn't let this one go by. I guess by now most everyone is aware Micah Ian Wright lied about being an Army Ranger. Obviously a tasteless and underhanded thing to do. I can't abide liars, something my father taught me. My dad was a World War II veteran, a decorated B-24J tail gunner in the Pacific theater. So maybe this tweaks me more than it would someone else.

But what truly makes this situation reprehensible is Wright's seeming inability, or unwillingness, to take complete responsibility. In his statement, it seems to me he tries to lay off the blame for his lie on what he deemed the corporate media. As if, somehow, his propogation of the lie is okay, because the Washington Post didn't sniff it out. Having worked as a journalist for a number of years, I'm offended at even the suggestion.

Newspapers DON'T fact check every piece of information they print; it would be impossible to do so in the time available. A hard news story is going to be fact checked; for an author interview, it's much less likely. You trust that the author's bio you're handed is accurate; you trust that the source has some integrity. In this instance, obviously that wasn't the case.

Where does Micah go from here? Looking at his forum, many of his diehard fans have abandoned him. Which some might say that internet fans don't matter, and the difference between what people say online and do at the cash register is often different. Yet given that his sales haven't been stellar, I think this will hurt his career even more. Will he be able to get future work? I guess only time will tell.

No comments: