Wasn’t It H.L. Mencken…

…who said "never let the facts get in the way of a good story" ?  Case in point:

Here’s an excerpt from an otherwise reasonably balanced appraisal of The Farnsworth Invention by By Walter S. Ciciora, Ph.D., a self-professed "Recognized Industry Expert on Cable and Consumer Electronics Issues" from the Feb 1, 2008 editio of CedMagazine.com

The play’s author, Aaron Sorkin of such TV wonders as “The West Wing,” states in his “Author’s Note” that there is a lot of ambiguity and controversy swirling around the story of the Sarnoff/Farnsworth struggle. Each has several biographical books published by various authors, but there is little agreement among the stories. The play presents two versions of the story, one from Sarnoff’s perspective and the other from Farnsworth’s viewpoint.


I have not seen this "Authors Note" of which Dr. Ciciora speaks, though I have little doubt that the addition of this comment to the Playbill stems in no small part from the criticism of the play’s climax coming from this and other sources. So I guess the playwright gets the last word.

And, I see the logic in making a statement like "there is little agreement among the stories."  Aaron is saying that since there is a multitude of perspectives on the story, there’s no harm in adding one more.

That may be true.  Except that, when there is "little agreement among the stories," it is even more important to respect those FACTS about which there can be NO disagreement.  Like the fact that Farnsworth won the litigation with RCA, and that RCA’s long-standing policy of collecting royalties, rather than paying them, was finally defeated. 

Rather than clarifying the issues, reversing the one reliable fact that is pivotal to the story only muddles the truth that much further.

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