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THE TUBE : TRUE LIES

The real story behind the ad lines used to promote TV “docudramas,” in order of descending veracity:

* Torn from today’s headlines: We made it from public record; it’s largely true, but don’t expect to hear anything you haven’t already heard 100 times over.

* Based on a true story: We were too cheap to buy the rights of the principal characters, so we changed the names and made a thinly veiled version of the story.

* A True Story: Because we had to give script approval to the protagonist in order to secure his or her rights, the entire narrative is told from that person’s perspective and is shamelessly biased in his or her favor.

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* Dramatized for television: The real, unembellished story was so damn boring nobody would’ve watched.

* Inspired By Actual Events: Somebody the same approximate height as our lead character did once, indeed, exist. We made up the rest.


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