Monday, May 09, 2005

Society Scandals

The San Francisco Chronicle started its 6-part series (not 7-part as I had written previously) on Sean Wilsey’s book, Oh The Glory of It All. It will be interesting to see if the excerpts stimulate interest in the book and catapult it onto the best-seller list or satiate readers’ curiosity. Clearly, the publisher Penguin Press thinks the exposure will be good for Wilsey. (The newspaper is not posting the series on its web site). He’s going to talk at a Clean Well-Lighted Place for Books in San Francisco on Tuesday, May 31 at 7 p.m.

In Sunday’s excerpt, The Chronicle included pictures of Wilsey’s mom, Pat Montandon, in 1969. She was remarkably beautiful then – blonde and lithe, with a mixture of sophistication and approachability. She far outshone the woman her husband left her for, Dede Wilsey. It’s understandable why Wilsey felt bewildered and confused by his father’s actions.

In the book, Wilsey portays his stepmother as the villain – a woman who befriended Montandon, only to deceive her and steal her husband. Wilsey clearly loved Dede for a time and was desperate for her to return that love. He says she never did, and Wilsey conveys his resentment throughout the book. I wonder how she is reacting to all this negative publicity. Will she talk to the Chronicle now?

In other San Francisco news, Craig’s List founder Craig Newmark – who has already managed to take away millions of dollars in revenue from local newspapers with his on-line classified ads – is going to add a journalistic component to his website.

“Craig Newmark told Associated Press editors and writers in a bureau visit, his newest fascination is community journalism. Newmark hopes to develop a pool of "talented amateurs" who could investigate scandals, cover politics and promote the most important and credible stories. Articles would be published on Internet sites ranging from Craigslist to individual Web logs, or blogs.”

I bet this is making editors nervous. They’re also keeping their eyes on Arianna Huffington’s new community blog site, the Huffington Post, which debuts today. She’s got an interesting line-up of bloggers, including Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., John Cusak, Ellen DeGeneres, David Mamet, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, and others. So reading her site will take time. No quick blog hits.

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