Thursday, November 16, 2006

Mondo Skank

Now that the National Book Awards have been handed out (see fulsome coverage at GalleyCat), I am announcing a new competition: the First Annual Skank Awards.

Conceived by yours truly in the shower this morning, the Skank Awards honor women and men who have achieved the pinnacles of tawdry behavior, shamelessness and hypocrisy.

I've come up with a few categories so far, and welcome suggestions for others, as well as for nominees. First and foremost, there can be only one contender for...
  • Skank Publisher
    Judith Regan of ReganBooks, an imprint of HarperCollins. She is the newly announced publisher of O.J. Simpson: If I Did It, Here's How It Happened, due in stores Nov. 30. Incomparable Washington Post TV columnist Lisa DeMoraes observes:
    And who wouldn't love to find a copy of O.J.'s sordid sort-of hypothetical confession in his Christmas stocking on the morning of the day in which we celebrate the birth of baby Jesus?
    Or nestled by a plate of latkes for Hanukah? I just phoned Tattered Cover Book Store, and they'll be shelving the book in the "New Nonfiction" section. The helpful salesperson I spoke with asked whether I'd like to order a copy. I declined--vehemently--and hope many others do too. In fact, I hope that the public stays away from this book in droves. (Gee, I wonder if WalMart will stock it? They're always taking a moral stand on books and other popular entertainment.)

    Proof that great minds think alike, Publishers Weekly editor-in-chief Sara Nelson posted her weekly column four days early. Titled "Reganomics," Nelson suggests that "Judith Regan and her eponymous imprint should win a it the Most Brazen Publisher award." I think my award is more fitting.

  • Skank Ghostwriter
    Aw, c'mon! No one can actually believe that O.J. wrote the book all by his very own self. I hope that the money burns the hands of whoever did write it and, like The Monkey's Paw, brings him/her unforeseen misery.
  • Skank TV Network
    Fox TV, which, like HarperCollins, is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Judith Regan will be interviewing Simpson for a two-part special, to be broadcast at the end of sweeps on Mon., Nov. 27 and Wed., Nov. 29. Why not on two consecutive nights? Because, as DeMoraes points out:
    Fox airs 'House' on Tuesdays and nobody messes with 'House.' Not even O.J."
    According to yesterday's New York Times:
    ...the network quoted Mike Darnell, executive vice president for alternative programming, who said: “This is an interview that no one thought would ever happen. It’s the definitive last chapter in the trial of the century.”
    Per today's LA Times, quoting Fred Goldman, the father of Ron Goldman, who was brutally murdered with Nicole Brown Simpson in 1994:
    "It is an all-time low for television," Goldman said. "To imagine that a major network would put a murderer on TV to have him tell how he would murder the mother of his children and my son is beyond comprehension." Goldman said he thinks the outrage should extend to the entire Fox network. "Send a message to Fox that if Fox believes their viewers want this kind of trash on television, they must not think very highly of their viewers," he said.
  • Skank TV Producer
    Once again, Judith Regan, who moved from New York to put the "Ho" in Hollywood. Per De Moraes:
    TV industry executives yesterday expressed shock and awe, and the certainty that everyone in this country would be outraged that O.J. will make big bucks off his ex-wife's murder and Fox will run a promo for the book as a sweeps stunt.

    Except for their Hollywood colleagues.

    "No, not in Hollywood at all, because we're all whores, but in the rest of the country where they have morals -- sure," guessed one such exec, who conceded that the moral, non-Hollywood segment of the country probably would nonetheless tune in by the millions.
In an endless mental video loop, I keep seeing Dominick Dunne's mouth drop open after the O.J. verdict is read. Fear and Loathing forever...

Scar Strangled Banger by Ralph Steadman


Katharine said...

Excellent awards! Regan's behavior makes me embarrassed to be a part of the publishing industry.

Anonymous said...

Shameless; these shenanigans leave a really nasty taste in ones mouth. please God, do let people stay away in droves from this tawdriness. Blech!

The Home Office said...

I was thinking of blogging this myself, but I think you pretty much covered it. Great post.

Leora Skolkin-Smith said...

Fabulous post, Bella! My mouth seems unable to stop dropping since I heard the news about the OJ book! Good for you for nailing Regan!

Kim Stagliano said...

Even Howard Stern was horrified. 'Nuf said.

M. G. Tarquini said...

*falls down and worships at your feet.*

Christine said...

NewsCorp sucks. I work for another of their minions, a marketing company. You know those SmartSource coupons that come in the Sunday paper? Uh huh. NewsCorp. Ads in frames and those coupon machines in the grocery stores? Yep - NewsCorp. (well News America Marketing, but owned by NewsCorp.)

Yeah, they treat the employees like crap too. You would cry if you found out how little they pay for the quality of work they expect.

Welcome to America, land of the free, home of whatever we can get away with for however much we can get for it.

It makes my stomach turn. I hate book burning, as a general rule, but I think I could break it for this book.

Wait, no, that would mean I'd have to buy one, and I won't put money in his hands.

Zany Mom said...

I, too, was horrifed at this. I wish that everyone would have the decency to stay away. I know I won't be watching or reading.

I mean, if you're OJ and you have to write a book, go for it. But how I would have committed the murders? Absolutely disgusting.

I'm surprised nobody pulled the plug on this crap. But then, I'm not. Money these days trumps conscience and sensibility.

Mary Jacobs said...

My compliments to the creator of the Skank Awards. Brilliant!

Allow me to share a story which eerily presages the Skank Awards. A few years ago I was watching the Super Bowl with a group of friends. Toward the end of the halftime show my friend Terri pronounced the program "Skanky. That was just skanky." And that was BEFORE the wardrobe malfunction! So, I nominate Janet Jackson as the original Proto-Skank! Will anybody second?

The Unpretentious Writer said...

I'm a bookseller by night and weekends, and I will refuse to handsell this book.

Yasamin said...

Don't act so surprised. It's FOX. lol

on the other hand... its just proof that we are all going down the crapper as a society together, accepting this kinda of crap as being totally okay. and you know what? I'm sure someone will buy the damned book.


Sam said...
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Sam said...

Thanks for pointing this out - it hasn't arrived in French news yet and I hope it never gets translated.

Cashing in on a murder that one was accused of commiting is Sick, Sick, Sick.
It's beyond skank. I can't even find a word for it. I'm not only boycotting the book, I'm boycotting that particular imprint!

Anonymous said...

OJ thinks he's Godalmighty. Who does Judith Regan think she is?

Anonymous said...

I will never buy a Regan Books product (that's what they are, right?) again.


There are some lines that shouldn't be crossed, and this imprint crossed them about five years ago. But now it's out there for everyone to see.

What a sleazoid.

Anonymous said...

I find O.J. completely repulsive - I can't imagine who would buy this book. Even a lot of those who defended him think this is gross!

Kirsten said...

Along the lines of best supporting actor -- how about a category for people like the guy who phoned me yesterday. He wants to sue me for blogging about how he posted fake Amazon reviews to pump his self-pubbed novel. The category could recognize unpublished novelists whose "dreams of success" pervert them into craven fools.

Anonymous said...
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