“I wouldn't last a day in the newsroom today.”

“I wouldn't last a day in the newsroom today.”

Thales is gaya The living legend of the so-called new journalismAt 92, he is prolific as a writer, and although he still considers himself a reporter, he admits that He “wouldn't last a day” in the newsroom because of his aversion to short-term journalism. Just posted Bartleby and I (Alagora), has been for sale in our house since April 11, which is why he gave an interview to EFE at his home in the exclusive neighborhood of the Upper East Side of Manhattan, impeccably dressed in a suit and tie. “Not for you guys, this is my everyday wear,” he said smugly, before putting on his detachable hat to pose for photos.

Thalesof Italian origin and creative with Truman Capote, Joan Didion s Norman Mailer So New Press Which was popular in the sixties and seventies and was widely studied in communications colleges. She continues to campaign for “hard” journalism.In the face of “fasting,” which has become the standard in the profession. “Do you have a deadline?” He joked that, for him, a deadline is the death of creativity, being a guy who needs to write an item two, three, or even four times until he gets the perfect tone.

He is never satisfied with the first answer, and likes to rephrase the question over and over again until he gets what he wants.

Despite the contradiction that sounds in a journalist's mouth, there are two things he hates: the recording device and the data in quotes. He explains: Throughout his career, he never settles on the first answer, and likes to rephrase the question over and over again until he gets what he wants. On the other hand, to quote text means to surrender to the voice of another person, when his “house mark” is that his voice is noticeable in his essays.

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He continues to defend by all means “journalism with artistic ambitions”, which goes beyond abstract facts, but without distorting them, because he emphasizes that he has always respected accuracy and written texts that can be verified. At this moment, without asking him, he remembers the bitter dispute that took place between him and her Washington Post After its publication in 2016 Hotel Voyeurthe story of a pervert who devoted himself to spying on the sexual habits of others, who bought a hotel in which he set up an attic from which he devoted himself to spying on his clients for decades, and whose story he told the writer exclusively. Thales did not care much about accusations of collusion because he did not denounce the subject to whom he had entrusted his actions for years – and with whom he spied. On one occasion – but he did Washington Post He sent a reporter to the famous hotel and found serious errors in Tallis's account. It still hurts, and he repeatedly explains that he never invented anything, not then or throughout his career.

He continues to defend by all means “journalism with artistic ambitions” that goes beyond mere facts but without distorting them.


Gay Thales in his apartment on New York's Upper East Side / Photo: EFE / Angel Colmenares

BARTLEBY I JOThree stories in one

His latest novel is a collection of three seemingly unrelated books: The first part where Tallis returns to his beginnings as a reporter, when he devoted himself to photographing figures from the underworld, the eternal henchmen; The second is a description of how he wrote that long article that gave him so much fame, Frank Sinatra has a coldAnd a third with the unknown story of the doctor who broke into his house while he was inside because he did not comply with the divorce ruling. The common thread: all those who appear are “people with no common identity, complete strangers, as well as very lonely beings,” Tallis explains. He was always tempted by the idea of ​​dealing with what he called “virgin personalities.”Which the press passes by, to satisfy a curiosity “to understand people who are different from me, and that includes everyone.”

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And indeed, all the objects you display Bartleby and I Almost unknown, even in the article devoted to Sinatra, who, already legendary as he is, Dedicated to photographing the singer without speaking to him once Rather, he creates a multifaceted picture from the collected testimonies of his daughter, his friends, his agents, his representatives, or his bodyguards. A picture that, according to all critics, spoke of Sinatra much better than the words that the singer did not want to utter.

Thales believes that current President Joe Biden is “a disaster, but Trump is worse.”

At his age, Tallis doesn't mind “getting into puddles,” like Matthew He clearly stands in favor of the pro-Palestinian protests In the country's universities, because it is a response “to war crimes. What Netanyahu is doing is horrific and inhumane,” he said. It is believed that the only reason these protests have not become widespread is because there is no risk of forced conscription. The United States practices the “hypocrisy” of declaring war criminals to Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi or to the Chinese – he says without specifying – but not to Netanyahu, when “what Netanyahu is doing to these poor Palestinians is what the Americans did.” To the Japanese.”

For Thales, current President Joe Biden is “a disaster, but Trump is worse.” He laments that Americans have to choose between two idiotsTo announce that he will not go to vote. In fact, the last time she voted was for Barack Obama, a man who “wasn't great, but at least he was honest and honorable.” In the face of his country's mediocrity, he does not hesitate to praise Vladimir Putin, “an interesting man, a great leader, who does not bow down to the West,” reserving his highest praise for Xi Jinping and China in general. : “What China did in the time I lived in it is the greatest achievement of my time. When I was born, it was a nation of slaves, serfs, and nobodies… And look what they did, they turned into a superpower!”

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