On Sky News this lunchtime Tina Brown did two extraordinary things – she trashed the blurb on her book The Diana Chronicles and disowned the Mail's description of her as “a close friend” of Princess Diana.
Of the blurb – which describes Diana as “a manipulative, media-savvy neurotic who nearly brought down the monarchy” – Brown said: “I never wrote that, that’s the blurb. My book is more complicated than that .. it doesn’t have heroes or villains ….” Asked if she distanced herself from the blurb she replied categorically: “Yes”.
As to the Mail, it ran lengthy extracts from the book over two weeks and sold it to readers as the work of a “close friend of Diana”. Brown on Sky said: “That's just the Mail, I was not a close friend of the princess, I was an acquaintance who always approached her as a working journalist …”
A lesson to newspapers and publishers: don’t try to over-sell a canny master of sell.