April 12, 2010

Oprah bio being "blackballed" by her media cronies …

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Is the forthcoming bio of Oprah Winfrey written by Kitty Kelly getting blackballed because people are afraid to offend Winfrey? That’s what a Wowowow report by Margot Howard says.

According to Howard,

… most of the kingpin interviewers in the mainstream media were astonishingly up front about saying they would not help Kitty promote her book because they didn’t want to offend Oprah! They didn’t even make up excuses; they flat-out said they didn’t want to offend Oprah. It was surprising, to say the least, that interviewers such as Larry King, Charlie Rose, David Letterman and Barbara Walters all shut her out. … Walters told Random House publicity she didn’t want to “upset” Oprah. Letterman said he didn’t want to “disrupt” his détente with Oprah. And ABC, whose name might as well now stand for “All ‘Bout Cowards,” made an across-the-board decision that Kelley’s book would be boycotted by all ABC shows. Even second-tier people like Joy Behar followed suit. And Rachael Ray! A cooking show, no less.

Of course, as Howard also notes, “there was great surprise in the publishing world that such a book could even be done. Oprah, being the doyenne of making or breaking books, was thought to be immune from an unauthorized biography because … well, she is the doyenne of making or breaking books.”

Meanwhile, despite the lack of publicity, an Examiner report notes that, on Amazon, the book “has already sailed to #25 as of this writing, and promoted customer discussions well before its April 13, 2010, release date.”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives

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