Why are these books worth so much?


I have written before of my puzzlement at the huge advances paid by publishers for books by politicians and celebrities because I could not see how these books could possibly be interesting enough to recoup in sales what the publishers seemed to expect. At least when it comes to politicians, there is a ready-made market of their own political parties and partisan groups that may buy these books in bulk as gifts to be given out to loyalists. And when it comes to celebrities in the arts and sports worlds, there does seem to be a fascination with what they are ‘really’ like, an appeal that completely eludes me.

But this latest report is that in the wake of the recent personal attacks on her by Donald Trump, MSNBC news presenter Mika Brzezinski has been offered a huge advance for a three-book deal that will get her a paycheck in the ‘high six figures’. That seems utterly inexplicable to me, unless the publishers think that all the Trump-haters will snap up the books. It beats me how she can fill three books with information that would interest readers to buy it in large quantities. Even one book would be a stretch.

Like many in the world of big-name media, Brzezinski’s path to success was possibly greased by nepotism, by being the daughter of Zbigniew Brzezinski, a Democratic party Cold War warrior who was president Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor. He was the architect of the policy adopted secretly in 1979 of drawing the USSR into Afghanistan and creating a Vietnam-style situation for them by using the CIA to arm, train, and support Mujahedeen resistance groups that later morphed into the Taliban that then sprouted al Qaeda as an off-shoot, a classic example of ‘blowback’.

Carter signed the secret and deeply fateful directive on July 3 of that year. In launching the effort, “we knowingly increased the probability” of a Soviet invasion, said Brzezinski in a 1998 interview.

When that invasion occurred months later, Brzezinski told Carter, “We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam War.”

To accomplish that goal, the Carter and Reagan administrations, along with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, funded, organized, transported, armed and trained Salafist extremists to fight the Red Army in a holy war on behalf of Islam. Among those who joined the cause were future al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad.

The enduring global impact of this 10-year program bears emphasis: The CIA and Saudi GID recruited jihadists from all around the Muslim world, creating relationships and networks that would evolve into not only al Qaeda, but also ISIS and many other Salafist terrorist groups across several continents.

Apparently, one of her books will offer advice to millennials entering the job market. No doubt she will stress the importance of making sure that you are born to a powerful, well-connected, and influential father.

Comments

  1. says

    publishers for books by politicians and celebrities

    They don’t write them, anyway.
    It’s basically a book about a celebrity ghost-written from an interview with a celebrity. And it’s guaranteed to be not at all self-serving.

    Mika Brzezinski is totally qualified to write about foreign policy because half of her DNA came from someone who was an important figure in a lot of bad foreign policy decisions and that’s hereditary. Or, so the oligarchy desperately wants to believe.

  2. says

    PS – she should team up with Gwyneth Paltrow and do a book about how holding a blue ceramic rock ($99!) under your armpit can pacify insurgents.

  3. secondtofirstworld says

    Mr. Singham, in defense of Ms. Brzezinski, Jon Stewart has pointed out in a clip about how media personalities judge domestic violence, Mika admitted of being frequently beaten by her father. It might be she earned it in spite of having an influential father. The one person about whom I know for certain that his career was thanks to his father is Tucker Carlson.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    secondtofirstworld @ # 3: The one person about whom I know for certain that his career was thanks to his father is Tucker Carlson.

    Besides Carlson, the False Noise Network also features a Chris Wallace, son of the much-more-deservedly-famous CBS News reporter Mike Wallace. Another major talking-head is Luke Russert, whose father Tim ran a big talk show for many years.

    Somebody who knows about television “news” – as compared to me, who avoids tv assiduously – could probably name lots of other second-generation media hacks without a moment’s pause.

  5. Mano Singham says

    There are other names such as Abby Huntsman (son of Republican Jon Huntsman), Peter Doocy (son of Steve Doocy), and Meghan McCain (daughter of John McCain). I’ll add more names as they come to me.

  6. secondtofirstworld says

    @Pierce R. Butler #4:

    Sure, but my point was, that given her spite for entertainment news in place of actual news, it’s not very likely she wanted to rely on her abusive father to achieve success. As for Chris Wallace, I have respect for the man. He’s not in the opiniontainment section (unlike Doocy or Hannity), and he does have the balls to ask hard hitting questions from Fox News GOP darlings.

  7. John Morales says

    But this latest report is that in the wake of the recent personal attacks on her by Donald Trump, MSNBC news presenter Mika Brzezinski has been offered a huge advance for a three-book deal that will get her a paycheck in the ‘high six figures’. That seems utterly inexplicable to me, unless the publishers think that all the Trump-haters will snap up the books. It beats me how she can fill three books with information that would interest readers to buy it in large quantities. Even one book would be a stretch.

    Perhaps you’re insufficiently conspiracy-minded.

    Is profiting — or even recouping the cost — so obviously the goal this action pursues?
    Are the ostensible actors the actual actors?

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    secondtofirstworld @ # 6: … given her spite for entertainment news in place of actual news, it’s not very likely she wanted to rely on her abusive father to achieve success.

    I might call that a non-sequitur, but given that I know so little about her that this thread is the first I’d heard about Zbigniew B’s domestic (as compared to international) violence, maybe there is a connection. (Didn’t Mika B do the loving-child obituary thing when her dad finally escaped justice?)

    Sfaik, Chris Wallace has played along with nearly all the party-line lies from Fox: fuck ‘im!

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