Yesterday we posted the New York Post’s Page Six article on David Blaine’s Dive of Death featuring a quote from Brad Christian stating that a majority of magicians found Blaine to be “a joke” since he began his endurance stunts.
Since then we’ve been contacted by Ellusionist and Brad himself commented on the post. We felt it is only fair to post what he said, in full:
I spoke to the reporter for over 30 minutes on the subject of Blaine and praised him up and down for what he’s done for the community and for magic in general. Anyone who knows how I feel on the subject knows I think David Blaine single-handedly changed the way magic is perceived by the public and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for that. I went on and on with that reporter, as did JB from T-11. She used none of my great comments and insight about Blaine and took a small thing I said in passing and blew it up. She was looking for a way to spin the story and used anything she could to back up her angle. You guys know that. The quote was taken out of context and used to create a story that would attract viewers. I regret talking to her in the first place given that she didn’t express what I conveyed. JB talked to her for an hour and she used nothing of what he said given that it was purely positive. Enough said.
When profiling a mysterious character like Blaine, it stands to reason that the most interesting information is going to come from either beyond the control of or in conflict with the subject. However, this doesn’t excuse twisting words to fit a pre-constructed narrative.
It’s a shame that a piece with such an interesting view into the madness that was zero hour at Blaine HQ had to take short cuts.
AFTER THE JUMP read what Jason Brumbalow of Ellusionist, who was in the car for the interview, says is the real context of the quote in question…
Here is Jason’s original context:
I was with Brad when he was on the phone with her. And it did NOT sound like “To the majority of magicians, he is a bit of a joke now.” In the proper context of what he was saying, again had just spent time talking about how David re energized magic and was having a ball talking about the greatest points of his career. He had noted that , “Ellusionist has such a young demographic and many of them weren’t fully into magic when Blaine exploded onto the scene. Having such heavy numbers of the younger group, the majority of magicians seem as a bit of a joke now. Most of the more seasoned group respect what he did for the art and it was incredible to have been there in 1998 to see it unfold for the first time. It was a killer time more all magicians”
Obviously I don’t remember the exact words, but I remember the context of the quote VERY well. It stuck in my head when he said it because I was thinking, wow… she’ll probably just pick that negative part out and print it. Maybe it was a bad call on his part to say anything negative at all, but JB is right, I guess you had to talk s— to get in the paper.