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What a saint! Or is she...?

“She’s under 5 feet tall, but just a whirlwind of energy,” Henderson said. “To see her in the meetings with mostly these guys who are big, often over 6 feet tall … she just says ‘jump’ and they say ‘how high?’ ”
--"Profile Article of Delancey Street’s Director, Dr. Mimi Silbert" by Halle Stockton

This is a great quote; I think there always tends to be something appealing about short people who are a whirlwind of energy who run around telling tall people what to do. I bet this quote really drew in the short demographic of the audience. But seriously, this article is a wonderful example of really fantastic quotes. I didn't know someone could be as perfect as the way people describe Silbert. Did she pay them, or give them happy juice? Okay, probably not. But she probably chose the absolute best quotes out of all the sources she interviewed. All of these quotes not only are very complimentary to Silbert, but also give you a very strong sense of her personality and how energetic she is. The fact that these quotes are so fantastic suggests that Stockton got tons of information, much like Gorney in the Dr. Seuss story, just to make sure she had more than she needed. It seems like that's a pretty important element of preparation for an article. I'm sure that she got some quotes which weren't particularly terrific; some people probably said things which weren't as descriptive or well-phrased, and maybe someone actually said something negative, or at least not as hyperbolically complimentary. Normally when I read these types of articles I don't think so much about the person who wrote them, but now that I'm examining them this way I'm realizing that this whole portrait of this woman is constructed by a writer who may have emphasized certain things and downplayed or just ignored others. What if she set out to do a story on this person, and she got a bunch of people who said really negative things about the Delancey Street complex and how it's such a failure? Maybe she would have written it differently, but she might also have found other people who said only positive things and decide to spin it that way. Would she even want to do the negative version of the story since it wouldn't fit the whole inspirational-figure genre of profile pieces? And I don't have anything against the Delancey Street Foundation, it's just interesting to consider these types of questions.

Comments (1)

Aja Hannah:

To me, it seemed like a very big fluff article. It didn't show the opposing view (if there was one). It used only the most postive quotes.

The writer probably got such good quotes because she went after them and asked the right questions, which is really hard for me to do. That's the only part I find commendable.

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