I'm not suggesting that Wyatt was not interviewed or otherwise participated in the development of the articles. It is obvious that he did. What we don't know is how much editorial control he had over the result. The Earp articles were not news stories. They were feature articles written as much for entertainment as for information. You've read enough articles of this type from that period to know that liberties were taken. You're attributing those liberties to Wyatt (and some of them may well have come from him), but feature writers like Robert Chandler and E. D. Cowen were quite capable of adding "extras" to their stories. This was the age that gave us "yellow journalism" after all. It is not so much a matter of fabrication as making the story more dramatic. And--as my own experience with interviews confirms--sometimes the interviewers just plain get it wrong. It is not always easy to figure out who is responsible for the mistakes. I doubt that Wyatt was as concerned about that in 1896 as he would be in 1920 and after. What we can do, though, is to look at the various accounts attributed to Wyatt and pick out consistencies--points he makes every time, including consistent errors--as a way of better understanding his claims as opposed to journalistic liberties. Best!
The ghost writer made up the quotes and comments based on preexisting accounts? Wyatt never participated or provided info for this account? I know papers take great liberties with the truth, was this ... more
How we arrive at determining what statements can be attributed to Wyatt and how truthful they are. Would the writer put in that "Frank yelled out when first hit" or was that something Wyatt related.... more
Wyatt pretty consistently said that Tom fired from behind the horse (over its back or under its neck), so we can pretty well conclude that Wyatt said that. You can see similar patterns in other... more
Thanks for the insight. I believe I have been looking at the information with a very suspicious eye and maybe over thinking some aspects. Some of the information seems straight forward and it just... more
Very interesting Chris, as I am trying to become more neutral in my approach without supporting evidence. That being said there are a number of things in this Tombstone story that really don't make... more
The underlying factors are less amenable to positive verification. That is the level at which the inquiry becomes abstract and most people are left behind. For example, look at the vast majority of... more