Tuesday, September 15, 2009

All Platform No Substance

What fool in his right mind doesn't like Robin Meade?
For me every morning with HLN is like a fantasy moment from homeroom come to life: the hot cheerleader with the big smile, the huge pretty eyes and that sexy voice is talking DIRECTLY TO ME! She's talking to me, like OMG!
This week she's on vacation touring her book; so I have these other people to watch who are decidedly NOT Robin Meade. Uhhg.
Like Chuck Norris, there is only one.
That said, is this woman Mother Theresa? Is she a former member of the UN? Is she even Tony Robbins, who is in fact a motivational speaker?
No. She is not. She's just sooo damned pretty, and she reads the news real nice. But let's face it, that's it as far as we know TO DATE. It is important to qualify that remark. She may be capable of great things in life, but her beauty perhaps is overshadowing, and CNN certainly is overpaying, thereby delaying whatever those things might be. That is to say, to date, other than her stunning beauty, what could she TELL ME about in a book, that I'd want to read?
I'm not pulling a Kanye here: and I have all the respect in the world for her getting this book deal and off you go to the races with the success thing. You go girl!
The question becomes, when is it obvious that publishing anymore is 100 pecent platform-driven and 0 percent content-driven? And when do publishers wake up and realize, that this is not a good arrangement for the future of the business? That it's not working, otherwise celebrity cook books would be selling like electronics in Singapore. But they are not, children. They just aren't.
In a weird turn of events, that only a stalker would think of, today Mrs. Meade will be at the Ashford-Dunwoody Borders, less than four miles from my old high school. (Okay just stop it!)
So while I am bitching, would I go see her if I were still living on the north side of Atlanta? I have to admit I would. I would do it and I would tell NO ONE. I'd smile, try to catch her eye, wave as I walked in, get me a coffee, do all of the above while lying about it to the wife over the cell phone until the managers and her husband tossed my ass out of there, but would I actually buy Robin's book even for the autograph?
No, aside from bringing home incriminating evidence, you see, there has to be something compelling inside the book in order for me to purchase it. Just the way I am built, I guess.
I am hunting and pecking all over the net this morning trying to find out how much she got, up front in the advance, and how much The Hatchet Group paid in publicity for her tour of Morning Sunshine! The buzz I am getting from this little box over here called television is, this book is sort of a motivational how-to guide for perkyness? Do I have it right? I dunno.
There is bupkiss on the web. Galleycat et al we suppose are too busy touting the latest gadget designed to "save publishing".
Agents always ask, what is your target market? And you damned well better have one in mind when you answer.
Okay, fifty percent of the population is out. Why? Men won't purchase this book, not even for the pictures because, hey, when all this foolishness is over she'll be back, you'll see. And why buy the cow when....right... I think even gay dudes won't buy it for this reason. We all love Robin. Gay,straight, in between, black, white, Asian, Inuit. Men all over earth think she's faaaaabulous! But read a book she wrote? Not the men, I believe.
So the argument becomes, well, women will buy it!
Some people were born perky. They shine like a bright bulb no matter what. Look at that picture! Damn she's perky. But ladies, I don't think this is anything Robin can actually TEACH you, I am sorry to say. I think women, who are not already seeeething with jealousy about being born into this life as not Robin Meade, are smart enough to realize that. You can't teach perky and cute, you just can't.
And what might her stories be? Has she served as a war correspondent ala Christian Amanpoore or Anderson Cooper? Nnnnnnnnnope. Did she survive a plane crash and fight her way out of the wilderness?
Could she do those previous things? Hell, probably do a damned good job at it if she stretched. She's no dummy, let's face it. But there's that overwhelming beauty again getting in the way.
If I were her handlers at CNN I'd want her right where she is; safe, sound, smiling, reading the news, not uncovering it, not risking life and limb to bring it home. When someone is engaged in those latter, risky behaviors, their story, the content of their memoir, becomes waaaay more interesting. Am I missing something when I say that? Am I wrong?
So whose head is on the chopping block over at Hatchet Group?
Will a million Aunt Sarah's across the nation, who are convinced Robin is their television daughter, come out of the woodwork to buy this book?
They better!
If they do, I'll eat a hat.

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