The Son Also Rises

Once the necessary marketing stimuli are in place, writers should let go and imitate the ingenuous tone of an old-time Talk story. Use metaphors. Tell readers something profound. And don't forget to mention Senator Clinton whenever possible (current target goal: a Hillary story in every other issue). Data from the Press Clips study follow.

Subject: Brandi Chastain, the U.S. women's soccer star who took her shirt off after a recent victory (7/26/99). Product placement: Nike. Media mentioned: Gear, Sports Illustrated. Flattering comparison: Chastain and Victory, the Greek goddess. Category: Celebrity women who get publicity by disrobing.

Subject: A group of New York professionals who get together to eat organ meat (7/26). Product placement: Frito-Lay, Café Loup. Media mentioned: Word, The Village Voice, Time. Flattering comparison: Word editor Marisa Bowe calls herself a vampire. Categories: Scary New York women, media eating habits.

Subject: Batman director Joel Schumacher hires lawyer to stop small-town newspaper from reporting the location of his new barn/house (7/26). Media mentioned: Carpinteria, California Coastal View News, Farmer's Almanac. Category: Celebrity litigation.

Subject: Marc Shaiman, who helped create the soundtrack for the South Park movie (7/19). Product placement: South Park. Sample quote: "I think one of [South Park co-creator Trey Parker's] biggest thrills was the day he and Matt came and heard a ninety-five-piece orchestra playing 'Uncle Fucka.' " Category: Hollywood puff piece.

Subject: Hugh Hefner redux (7/12). Media company mentioned: Playboy Enterprises. Celebrities mentioned: Brande, Mandy, and Sandy. Sample quote: "Where else would the editor of a magazine earn more than the company C.E.O.?" Category: Celebrity coasters.

Subject: The rumor that Hillary may run for president some day (7/12). Celebrities mentioned: Mario Cuomo, Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Media mentioned: NBC's Tim Russert, The New Yorker's Connie Bruck. Sample sentence: "The new rumor clearly derives its force from the old rumor, which, improbably enough, has turned out to be true."Categories: Political rumors, Hillary Clinton.

Subject: Georgette Mosbacher, three-time wife turned fundraiser for John McCain's presidential campaign (7/5). Product placement: The Four Seasons. Celebrities mentioned: Michael Bloomberg, Pete Peterson, Ron Perelman. Favorable comparison: Mosbacher and Melanie Griffith in Working Girl. Category: Scary Republican women.

Subject: The New York Times's internal dispute over the correct spelling of the exclamation "D'oh!" (7/5). Product placement: The Simpsons. Media mentioned: The New York Times, The Hartford Courant. Favorable comparison: Times disputes over spelling and Times disputes over national security issues. Category: Any minutiae about The New York Times.

Subject: Gay men in New York throw a bridal shower for a woman they love (7/5). Product placement: Jack Daniel's, Pucci, Bergdorf Goodman. Media mentioned: CBS News, VH1. Favorable comparison: the engaged woman and Britt Ekland, Ann-Margret, Lina Wertmuller, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Lolita. Sample sentence: "She air-kissed violently." Category: stories that might have run in The New York Times SundayStyles section.

Subject:Bianca Jagger's advocacy of Kosovo intervention (6/7). Media mentioned: Tucker Carlson of The Weekly Standard (and of Crossfire, and of Talk magazine). Sample observation: Carlson was afraid to ask Jagger a prepared question on Crossfire, for fear she might know the answer. Cate- gory: Silly celebrity causes.

Subject: Anachronistic movie reference to a cell phone emitting a dial tone (5/31). Product placement: Never Been Kissed, starring Drew Barrymore. Telecommunications companies mentioned: AT&T, Bell Atlantic. Sample sentence: "What is the purpose of this sound, as common and plain as a dulled penny, which we encounter dozens of times a day?" Category: Tech stories with a Hollywood twist.

Subject: Party for new book on Audrey Hepburn (5/17). Product placement: Bergdorf Goodman, Prescriptives. Celebrities mentioned: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn. Sample sentence: "Whether Audrey Hepburn's sophisticated-schoolgirl look owes everything to Givenchy or is a reflection of her own taste, as well, is the stuff of bitchy speculation." Category: Plugs for New York stores we love.

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