Obama Biographer Whines About Campaign's PR Tactics

Last Updated Oct 18, 2008 8:13 AM EDT

Pity the poor quickie biographer -- trying to cash in on the sudden fame of a national figure by rushing a book into publication and onto store shelves in enough time to harvest some pre-Election Day sales. After all, if the candidate loses, those books will be remaindered quicker than you can say Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

The biographer in question is Liza Mundy, whose day job is with the Washington Post. And the subject is not Barack Obama, but his wife Michelle.

In an incredibly whiny post on Slate about her trials and tribulations trying to write the book, Mundy complains bitterly about the way the Obama campaign clamped down on access to everyone but the family plumber (oh, whoops), leaving Mundy to interview such insiders as her high school classmates.

Gee, I can't think of any reason why the Obama campaign might not want a Washington Post reporter delving into Michelle Obama's life for a book timed to come out right before the election, can you? You've got the first biracial man running for President, with his African-American wife who would be First Lady if he's elected, and you've got a ravenous media and blogosphere just waiting with their toothy jaws ajar to devour any personal tidbit that might prove salacious and newsworthy (see: Bill Ayers, Kenyan heritage, etc.).

Memo to Mundy: sorry, but this is hardball. And in the immortal words of Tom Hanks in "A League of Their Own": There's no crying in baseball.

  • Jon Greer

    Jon Greer has been analyzing media and PR for more than 25 years. He's been a journalist and a PR executive, and has been a featured speaker for many years at the Bulldog Reporter Media Relations Summit, and served as Bulldog's Editorial Director for their PR University series of weekly how-to audio conferences.

    Jon provides PR services including media relations and freelance writing to clients including start-ups, law firms, corporations, investment banks and venture capital firms. In addition, Jon provides spokesperson training. Learn more about Jon's training programs at The Media Bridge.