Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

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Martin Schneider writes:

The Colbert Report, always eager to seize on a smaller story it can imprint itself on, last night dedicated the entire episode to Steve Martin and the art world.

Colbert delivered a report on the 92Y affair that was close to the original reporting of events, which is to say a bit hard on the audience purportedly demanding to hear Martin discuss his movies, a characterization I have already debunked. Colbert also included footage of a Fox News report I had not seen before, in which the 92Y audience is described as "irate" (again, certainly not true).

Colbert's account, while inaccurate and unfair, was certainly very funny and about what one would expect the show to do—that's (continued)

Martin Schneider writes:

I've gotten a couple of requests to provide sources for the ongoing Steve Martin/92Y saga, which will be stale in a week—but useful today!

The New York Times story that started the ball rolling (Felicia R. Lee)

Steve Martin's first Twitter post on 92Y

Overwrought NPR blog post (Linda Holmes)

Useful and informative MetaFilter thread

Steve Martin Op-Ed, New York Times

Steve Martin appearance on Later on Sunday Morning, CBS

Other coverage: (continued)

Martin Schneider writes:

Saturday's edition of the New York Times included an op-ed piece by Steve Martin ("The Art of Interruption") in which he addressed his attention-getting appearance at 92Y last Monday. (See my earlier posts on this event here and here.)

Additionally, the CBS morning program Sunday Morning featured an interview conducted by Rita Braver in which Steve Martin discussed the event.

For what it's worth, Martin's thoughts on this seem pretty reasonable to me. More to come in a future post. (continued)

Martin Schneider writes:

Two days ago I posted an account of the inadequate 92Y event of November 29 featuring Steve Martin and Deborah Solomon. Since then, the event has astonishingly spun off into a counter-narrative in which Martin and Solomon are the good guys and 92Y and the 92Y audience the villains.

The premise of this counter-narrative is that Solomon and Martin were off having a high-minded discussion about art, but the 92Y audience, and the 92Y itself, would not be appeased until Solomon prodded Martin into spinning some anecdotes about the filming of The Jerk or It's Complicated.

This counter-narrative is absurd, incorrect, and pernicious. I was there, and in the words to follow, I intend to set the record straight.

Three things happened to bring about (continued)

Martin Schneider writes:

It was a curious scene Monday night at 92Y. Steve Martin and Deborah Solomon, who is responsible for the "Questions For" feature in The New York Times Magazine, were slated to entertain a mostly filled Kaufmann Concert Hall (and, via simulcast, many other viewers at synagogues around the country) with an hour or so of lively chat.

It took only a few minutes for Solomon to alienate the audience thoroughly.

Solomon's strategy was to treat the event like a book report, covering, almost chapter by chapter, Martin's new novel about the art world, An Object of Beauty. As Martin pointed out, it was wise to assume that the (continued)

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