Unethical Review | Letters | Chicago Reader

Unethical Review 

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To the editors:

Achy Obejas's reply to Meade Palidofsky and Elbrey Harrell of the Music/Theatre Workshop [Letters, November 27] is one of the most trivial things I've read in the Reader in a long time.

Palidofsky and Harrell charge that Obejas "knowingly reviewed a rehearsal [of "Rhyme or Treason," an MTW show] (to which she had not been invited in any official capacity) as if it was a public, finished performance." Obejas replies that Palidofsky gave her the information she needed to attend a preview performance and knew who she was and that she intended to review the show.

Obejas's reply is trivial because it deals only with whether she acted in good faith with Palidofsky. Does Palidofsky's helpful information count as an official invitation? Most of us don't care. The important thing is that Obejas reviewed a work in progress ( a rehearsal, say Palidofsky and Harrell; a preview, says Obejas; who cares? say the rest of us) as though it were a finished product. (Yes, I looked up Obejas's review in the November 13 issue. No, she gives no clue that she's reviewing a preview, or a rehearsal, or anything other than a part of the show's regular run.) Not only is that unfair to the performers but, more important, it's unfair and deceptive to us, the readers, whose interests the critic supposedly has in mind.

Palidofsky and Harrell conclude by saying, "The editors of the Reader should retract the review and scrutinize more carefully Ms. Obejas's work before they publish it again." Better yet, the editors can save themselves the trouble by not publishing any more of Obejas's reviews since she has no credibility. Continuing to publish her work is unbecoming in a paper which bellyaches almost constantly about everybody else's lack of journalistic integrity.

Fred Starr

N. Magnolia

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