Gay Talese wants to go to Iraq. "It so happens there is someone that’s working on such a thing right now for me," the 75-year-old legendary journalist and author told David Shankbone. "Even if I was on Al-Jazeera with a gun to my head, I wouldn't be pleading with those bastards! I'd say, 'Go ahead. Make my day.'"
Few reporters will ever reach the stature of Talese. His profile of Frank Sinatra in a 1966 issue of Esquire, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, was not only cited by The Economist as the greatest profile of Sinatra ever written, but is considered the greatest of any celebrity profile ever written. In the 70th anniversary issue of Esquire Magazine in October 2003, the editors declared the piece the "Best Story Esquire Ever Published."
Talese helped create and define a new style of literary reporting called New Journalism. Talese himself told NPR he rejects this label ("The term new journalism became very fashionable on college campuses in the 1970s and some of its practitioners tended to be a little loose with the facts. And that's where I wanted to part company.")
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