Thursday, August 07, 2008

Why The Embargo Doesn't Work

LA Times on book review embargos and the particular case of Ron Suskinds The Way of the World. They see something fishy:
As Ulin said Tuesday, publishers' "embargoes are contrivances designed not to protect the contents of the book but to create a media feeding frenzy when a book comes out. Often, the entire purpose is to protect some kind of exclusive arrangement with a particular news outlet. That's not about news; it's about publicity, and it implicates the news media as part of the publicity juggernaut, reducing us watchdogs to lap dogs."The willingness of major publishing houses to take on projects like Suskind's is an act of public service as well as commerce. Projects such as Suskind's don't need to be marketed with the sort of calculation routinely reserved for celebrity tell-alls. In fact, the aura created by an orchestrated publicity campaign can even undermine the authority of the sort of journalism Ron Suskind practices.

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