Upfront and downmarket

August 13, 2004

An annoyed Oxford academic dispatched a tongue-in-cheek email last week to complain that The Times Higher had given Oxford reject Laura Spence a say about her experiences at Harvard. His missive claimed that the scoop was more worthy of a celebrity magazine.

Peep will preserve the anonymity of the social scientist who felt so stirred by the Spence article to put finger to keyboard and who signed off with the quip: "I met Johnny Cash once, can I be on the front page, too?"

But when asked for more details of his meeting with the gravelly voiced country music singer, a rather different story began to emerge. "OK, I'll fess up. I lied about meeting him. I just want to be a star... isn't it terrible what this celeb culture can spur us to do?"

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