I don't know if many of you ever read the article "Jimmy's World", in the Washington Post on September 28, 1980. It won a Pulitzer Prize, that was later returned when the truth of the article came to light. Click here for the article.
Maybe it’s because I write fiction myself that the first half of the article actually sounded like the beginning of a story, not of an article in a well respected newspaper. The details were too flowery for me to not question the legitimacy of it. I’m not saying journalist don’t have a way with words, but there tends to be a more clinical feel to every article I’ve ever read.
Whereas, a lot of people wouldn’t believe it, because the thought of a child being shot up by an adult, and none of the adults doing anything about it, seems too horrible and farfetched, that isn’t what rings false for me. Granted, that could be, because I’ve seen the track marks first hand on a child who was much younger than eight (the daughter of a neighbor who, thanks to police intervention no longer has access to the poor child). This world is a horrible and terrifying place a lot of the time.
Which does bring me to another thing I found questionable, and had I not already suspected the article of being a mostly well done work of fiction, would have made me (especially if I was an editor) wonder about the authenticity of the article. Where was the police intervention? Where was the school or CPS? I realize in the 80’s things weren’t like they are now, but even then, as a child in San Diego, I remember my teacher showing up on my doorstep with my homework when I missed more than one day of class.
What are you thoughts and insights into this article? I'd love to know.