August 5, 1993
Maybe Devo, the rock band from Akron, Ohio, was right. Humanity is de- evolving, which could explain how we seem to get more stupid every year. How else to explain things like the USA Network's "Marilyn and Bobby: Her Final Affair," latest made-for-cable sleaze from the makers of the worst in imitation movies. These clowns outdid Joe McGinniss, who took a few facts from other writers and made up an entire biography. The bozos at USA even made up the "facts. " We are having more and more trouble discerning fact from reality, in large measure because lousy artists with big audiences (Oliver Stone is a good example)
August 4, 1993 |
It is a challenge of considerable proportion to think of one adjective to properly describe the USA Network telemovie Marilyn & Bobby: Her Final Affair. Reprehensible comes quickly to mind. Odious might do as well. How about contemptible, despicable or vile ? Brummagem seems too mild. Marilyn & Bobby, tonight at 9, descends to a depth of irresponsibility that previous cable telemovies have not approached. USA's telemovies are usually sorry specimens of the form, but this one is the pits.
July 29, 1993 |
QUOTE "We'll write a lot about the home. We lust after real estate, not Donna Karan dresses. Our biggest dream is to retile the bathroom. " - Kelly Good McGee, editor-in-chief of Rupert Murdoch's new magazine, "Married Woman. " SOME OF THE CRUELEST CUTS OF ALL And some readers say that Tattle is mean! You want to know what mean is? This is mean: "Not merely is 'The Last Brother' a textbook example of shoddy journalistic and publishing ethics; it is also a genuinely, unrelievedly rotten book, one without a single redeeming virtue, an embarrassment that should bring nothing except shame to everyone associated it," writes book critic Jonathan Yardley in yesterday's Washington Post, referring to Joe McGinniss' new book on Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
July 21, 1993 |
Author William Manchester contends that writer Joe McGinniss plagiarized large portions of Manchester's book about President John F. Kennedy's assassination, The Death of a President, in McGinniss' own book about Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, The Last Brother. Manchester, whose book set the literary measure for Kennedy scholars and aficionados 26 years ago, told the Washington Post that McGinniss "didn't do any work himself. " "I was astonished at the number of instances of copying and also the pattern" of similarity in McGinniss' prose, he said.
July 17, 1993 |
"Wouldn't it be nice if it just dropped like a stone?" My friend offers this as a purely wistful thought. The "it" we are talking about is The Last Brother, the Joe McGinniss' book on Teddy Kennedy. We are both too well-versed in the ways of the marketplace to expect that a flap about fact, fiction and fairness will result in a debacle at the cash register. Quite the contrary. In the weeks since the book came into view, or at least preview, it's made more of a splash than a thud.
July 14, 1993 |
Joe McGinniss' forthcoming book about Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, "The Last Brother," would hardly be a literary milestone - just another Kennedy book that won't be on display at the Kennedy Library - if it weren't for one small thing. As Carolyn K. Reidy, the president of Simon & Schuster, the publisher, delicately put it, "Joe has taken biographer's license to discuss (read: make up) the thoughts that certain people might have had. " McGinnis is more candid: "This is a biography, not a work of journalism.
July 8, 1993
Perhaps virtual reality came along just in time. There isn't a whole lot of real reality going around. A computer-generated illusion of reality is likely to come closer than most people are used to, particularly if they are accustomed to life as it's presented in popular culture. Some examples: Joe McGinniss has written a biography of Sen. Edward Kennedy. Although Kennedy never spoke to him, McGinniss quotes him exactly at the most private moments of his life. Even his thoughts are quoted.
June 7, 1993
In 1989, a writer named Janet Malcolm penned a revealing discourse entitled "The Journalist and the Murderer" in the magazine that pays her a living - the New Yorker. It was, on one level, about the betrayal that convicted murderer Jeffrey MacDonald felt at the hands of his one-time authorized biographer, Joe McGinniss, who somewhere along the line came to the unfortunate (for MacDonald) conclusion that the former Green Beret was guilty as sin of knifing and clubbing his wife and daughters to death.
June 4, 1993 |
The L.A. Times reports that Paramount Pictures paid $250,000 for Philadelphia writer Stephen Fried's book Thing of Beauty: The Tragedy of Supermodel Gia. But that doesn't mean a movie will be made. Gia Carangi's Philly-to-riches-to-rags story "may be too dark, too bleak, too filled with controversial subjects like AIDS and lesbianism and drug abuse to make it appealing to a mass audience," the Times reports. "It would be . . . depressing to do a movie about a woman who gives up all the advantages to become a street junkie and die of AIDS," said John Goldwyn, Paramount's production chief.
December 9, 1991 |
Remember the Looney Tunes cartoon episode in which Bugs Bunny challenged the Gashouse Gorillas in a baseball game - and the stadium announcer introduced Bugs as the starting player at every position? Well, that's similar to the real-life experience of Swarthmore basketball coach Mark Jordan. Perusing his resume, one can imagine that same announcer yelling, "Softball coach Mark Jordan, soccer coach Mark Jordan, tennis coach Mark Jordan, athletic director Mark Jordan, basketball coach Mark Jordan, outdoor track coach Mark Jordan . . . " "It's a lot of work, but it's a lot of fun and a good feeling to work with so many teams and coach the kids," he said.