Wednesday, May 21, 2008

'Allison Pearson makes the cynical best call'

Hugh Grant's unauthorised biographer Jody Tresidder writes in of my last Allison Pearson post ...

You write: "I think she has missed a great opportunity".

Possibly, but not without calculation? I've always thought that personal contact with an easy target of stinky ink is absolutely deadly for columnists like Pearson.

Fergie, I've noticed, can actually radiate charm one-on-one, and she's been surprisingly effective here in the US, and with isolated UK hacks as well (A A Gill, I recall). But who wants to read nuanced fluff?

Of course, Pearson's claim that she was really getting snippy about Fergie's witless exposure of her own daughter is self-serving bull. But I imagine Pearson rather coldly totted up which Fergie would prove most useful to her in the long run. I think she has weighed one chance (and it would only be one) of an intimate portrait ("Tears spilled from her enormous blue eyes as the Duchess fiddled with her fork and whispered: 'Allison, finally you understand..!'") against yards and yards of future gleeful bitching about a total stranger.

Cynically, I think Pearson has made the best call.


Jody Tresidder said...

Hell's bells.
When I first saw how you had framed that comment, Madame, the blood drained out of my shapely legs.

Because I know that you know that I don't use that dusty affiliation!

However, I guess it is a fair cop in many respects, even if makes me look a prat. Maybe I'll sneak in as anon from now on:)

Ludmilla said...

Just found this outstanding comment on Roy Greenslade's blog on the Guardian site. The writer has posted it to the Mail site as well - but, what do you know? It hasn't been put up. Some excellent points here. Pearson's pathetically self-absorbed first novel might have sold by the truckload, but a) where's Novel 2, sitting on for pre-order for, oh, a couple of years now? and b) What's going to happen to Pearson's female readership when they call her on being the shameless hypocrite and kiddy-shopper she is?:
'So Pearson says Fergie 'pushes her daughters into the limelight'? I'm sorry, is this the same Allison Pearson who wrote a feature on Mother's Day only recently, in this publication [The Mail], and allowed it to be accompanied by a sizeable colour photograph of herself with her son and daughter? The same Allison Pearson who, a few years back, appeared on Oprah to publicise her chick lit novel, and allowed herself to be filmed with her son and daughter? The same Allison Pearson who frequently peppers her column with references to what her eight-year-old and twelve-year-old are doing at school, saying at home, planning for their birthday parties? Apart from the fact that Ms Pearson has been blatantly misleading about her previous column - which was NOT about Beatrice' s security, and was firmly focussed on her alleged figure flaws - is there not a more pernicious kind of hypocrisy here? Along the lines that Pearson has constructed most of her sickly 'mummy-guru' career out of flogging her own kids?'

Madame Arcati said...

Jody - you do not look like a prat because you wrote a Hugh Grant book! Don't do an anon on me .. xx

And Ludmilla, thanks for the piece - it makes excellent points about Pearson who is paid over £350K pa to peddle her editor's prejudices (money well spent it would seem). I hear that Fergie has been approached to do an ITV1 series, probably on street crime, for £150K. Good luck to her. And as for Pearson, I see her reply in yesterday's Mail only drew 7 comments from a newspaper readership of over 5m a day. It could be of course that the paper chose not to put up certain comments ...

Jody Tresidder said...

- you do not look like a prat because you wrote a Hugh Grant book!

You mean I look like one - but because of other reasons:)

Lovely call, ludmilla.

Madame Arcati said...

Oh Jody, you should have been a lawyer! What are you doing in the US - any more books? And tell us something about Hugh Grant you couldn't put in your book.

Anonymous said...

You're right, Ludmilla - heartwarming photograph of Pearson with her small children here:

And what do you know? The article dates from when she was in full PR mode for her tragically self-indulgent 'Isn't it HARD being a mummy and having a huge salary and a useless husband?' novel. Don't mind pushing your own kids into the limelight then, sweetie?