Today on Alphabet City: Jon Paul develops intestinal distress watching his Tyra “revelations”spread like Internet wildfire.
In true Texas tradition, yesterday featured the Good, the Bad and The Ugly.
The Good. Very Good. Thanks to my interview with fellow Texan blogger Jamie of FromMe-ToYou.Tumblr.Com, this blog had its highest traffic day ever—by almost triple the next nearest one! There’s something special about that Jamie, her photography and her followers—and I’m delighted they tumblr’d through here. Ya’ll come back now, ya here? And ABCitizens, hope you head over to FromMe-ToYou as Jamie morphed me into iPhone wallpaper!
The Bad. My excitement over Alphabet City: My So-Called Sitcom Life being plugged by Richard Johnson in PageSix quickly turned to shock as I watched the blurb spread across the Internet. If you’ve read the book, you’ll remember that Richard gave me a break when I was a young, struggling publicist—and when he read the passages about PageSix he reached out to me immediately again and said he’d like to do something. What he chose about the lessons I learned from Tyra—including Olestra causing intestinal distress was only slightly out-of-context sensational—but again, if you’ve read the book, sort of funny.
Unfortunately, like a game of telephone, each celebrity blogger picked up the PageSix story and reblogged it with their own twist. I quickly became demonized as some kind of bitter ex-publicist with an axe to grind who had written a “tell-all” book. Really? And not just in the US, but around the world. What’s up with all the gossip sites in India? And I don’t even want to know what those German bloggers are saying. Stateside, Jeannie Jones from a radio station in DC started off her fuming post calling me some “jerk ex-publicist”:
“You know you’ve reached the bottom of the barrel when you decide to expose a celebrity’s intestinal issues in order to sell your book. According to the NY Post, Tyra’s ex-publicist, Jon Paul Buchmeyer is exposing trivial tid-bits about the model-mogul’s life in order to advance his book sales.”
Wait a minute? That’s what the Post said? That I’m “leaking” out info to improve book sales? Here’s the thing Jeannie and fellow gossipmongers, how about doing some actual reporting by contacting me, get another interesting and useful side of the story? It’s not too hard—Google my name and you can pretty much be connected to me and the blog instantaneously. Read some sample chapters here about Tyra, see how nice they are! Better yet, how about asking for a copy of the book? Kudos to Rob Shuter at Popeater and Melissa Cronin at Star magazine for figuring that out and requesting to actually read the book before reporting. Shout out to Jezebel for keeping it light as well—adding one of my all time favorite celebrity tabloid lines, “supermodels are just like us!”
I’ll also give some credit to FOX News National they actually went to the blog picked up more tidbits—and switched the story so that Tyra warns ME about fans brandishing teddy bears at book signings. See how this game of telephone works. Who cares right, as long as they spell my name right? Except for some reason, the reporter began spelling my name wrong half way through the posting. Oh well, at least they linked to my blog.
The Ugly. What really became a hard to swallow were all the comments people began leaving on the blog posts. Even further removed from the source—they haven’t read the book or even the original post—they feel compelled to attack me. One reader on NYMagazine’s blog said I needed to have “my mouth taped shut” and another critiqued my public relations strategy.
None of this should surprise me, really. After all, I’m a trained publicist and should know how quickly things “spin” out of control. But the industry has changed dramatically since I stepped my naïve toes into the waters of celebrity publicity. The Internet was just dawning—I had to clip stories out of the paper by hand. Today, it was horrifying watching the speed at which my own participation in the gossip beast morphed into something ugly. To my celebrity publicist friends I take my hat off to you, because your job today is much more complicated and stressful than was my brief time with wonderful folks like Tyra, Whoopi, Teri, Ashley and so many more.
To calm myself down after reading all the blogs and comments, I asked myself, “What would Mary do?” After all, my TV guardian icon has guided me through some sticky situations. Sure, she came unglued when her reputation was called into question. But usually, she’d discuss the situation with Rhoda who would tell her to take it all in stride. My own Rhoda, Susan, did exactly that.
“What do you care? Shake it off. As long as they spell your name right kid!” Susan teased.
In the end, things always worked out for Mary. And she always had on a cute outfit when they did. Sounds like I have some shopping to do.