The LA Times editorial board went ahead and shared some of the e-mail correspondence among its members that led to an opinion piece about the forthcoming memoir written by Jaycee Lee Dugard, the victim of 18 years of horrific sexual detainment. The internal debate about whether or not to publish a commentary about the tome, entitled A Stolen Life, turns out to be more interesting than the piece itself.
Wednesday’s Op Ed starts out by making the very valid points that Dugard does not need the money (she received a large settlement from the state of California) nor the attention. But it then weakly pivots to this contradictory conclusion:
We hope she makes a lot of money and puts it toward a life of the fulfillment and joy that she was denied for so long.
There’s nothing wrong with an ambivalent train of thought in an opinion piece, as long as the payoff is solid. In this case, the entrenchment of an “of-two-minds” POV should have kept the editorial off the page.