Thursday, August 30, 2007

Put this guy on Oprah

Wherein I hope Chris Rose gets a little mileage from this column

Short version. Chris Rose gains some attention for writing an article about being depressed in New Orleans after Katrina. This leads to a book. Oprah wants to interview him about being depressed in New Orleans after Katrina, but doesn't want to ask him about or hear mention of his book, '1 Dead in Attic,' recently released by Simon & Schuster paperbacks, available in stores now, only 15 bucks. Then they tell him he can't write about being on the show, he tells them to go screw, and writes about being on the show where he wasn't allowed to mention his book about depressed in New Orleans after Katrina.

As not read by Oprah:
So, when I found out that Oprah's people (a producer) called my people (my editor) to arrange an interview, it dawned on me that I was about to become a made guy, a best-seller, a millionaire, super model arm candy. I'd get profiled in People magazine and Us would start reporting about who I'm seen with and Maxim would invite me to all their parties.

So I was drafting my letter of resignation to this newspaper when O's producer said to me: "You need to understand -- we're not going to talk about the book."

"What do you mean: 'We're not going to talk about the book?' " I said, and I'm paraphrasing here: "I just wrote a book about Katrina. You're Oprah and you want me on your show about Katrina. WHATTHEHELLDOYOUMEANWE' RENOTGOINGTOTALKABOUTTHEBOOK?!?!?!?!?"

In fact, I was informed, not only were we not going to talk about the book -- we weren't even going to mention the book. Not a word about it. Nothing. If I as much as uttered the word "book," I soon found out, it would be edited out. It was made crystal clear: Ex-nay on the ook-bay.

The reason for this is the aforementioned buying frenzy when Oprah says "book" because -- with apologies to Laura Bush -- along with many other job titles, Oprah is America's librarian, dispensing reading recommendations she believes will enlighten the masses. ("A Million Little Pieces," yes. "1 Dead in Attic," no.)

And if she casually mentions a book on the air, then publishers rush out full page ads in The New York Times that say AS SEEN ON OPRAH and it's construed as an endorsement even if it was just a passing reference and so, no talkie-talkie about bookie-bookie unless O deems it appropriate and O has apparently decided to let me rot in anonymity, rendered to the half-price shelf rather than roll my book, my name, off her lips, those beautiful lips, and into 18 billion homes, or however many women (and six guys) are tuned in at any given moment.

Oprah. Give a guy a break. Pleeeease? I ain't too proud to beg.

But, no. Apparently she hasn't even read my book and being a first-time author and going on Oprah but being told you can't mention your book is pretty much akin to having Charlize Theron walk up real close to you, take off all her clothes, look you in the eye -- lean so close you can feel her warm breath -- and whisper in your ear: You may not touch me.

Tell you what, Chris. I'm not promising to buy it, but I'll definately check it out next time I'm at the bookstore (which is 3-4 times a week, so I'm not just sayin').


Anonymous triticale said...

I don't watch TV. I don't select books based on the TV coverage they get. I still like the fact that Uncle Fester's Guide to Methamphetamine Manufacture had "As seen on 60 Minutes" blazened across its cover.

9/03/2007 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

If I gave awards, you'd be in the running for lamest comment ever.

9/03/2007 04:50:00 PM  

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