This is Associated Press TV writer Frazier Moore Watching Television for KCRW, and handing you a sure-fire scheme to be a bestselling author and TV personality. I don't know what made me hit on his plan, but it's not something I can take advantage of and maybe you can. So why not give it a shot?
First, you have to come up with a premise that's outrageous, depraved, indefensible and utterly small-minded. Then you build a whole book around it.
You apply Bizarro-world logic as you target a group already embattled and blame them for their plight, while demonizing them for anything else that will get you noticed. I'm just thinking out loud here but, well, maybe you could stick it to the widows of 9-11 victims.
Hey, I said I had a sure-fire plan! I didn't say it wouldn't turn your stomach.
Speaking of stomach, you better have a nice, flat one. And -- did I mention it before? -- be a girl. And preferably a blonde. To pull this deal off, you're going to have to make a cocktail dress and a mocking smile part of the proposition.
Remember, be slinky and snarky and TV will welcome you. Many shows will adore you.
But when the occasional host dares to argue, that's ideal. Once he takes the bait, you'll peevishly deny whatever he's accused you of, then accuse him of it right back. Rebut each charge with a variation of "I know you are, but what am I?" You won't hesitate to impugn his masculinity. And if it's a woman who's on your case, just remind her she's a witch or in cahoots with the Taliban.
Fortunately, even media outlets uneasy with your wild-eyed style won't turn you away. They can't leave themselves open to your censorship complaints, nor do they want to pass up any act that will deliver them an audience. Matt Lauer may not be crazy about you, but he'll understand you're ratings gold for the Today show. And when bedtime comes, he'll sleep like a baby.
Meanwhile, you'll be chortling at how the media you hold in such vocal contempt are tying themselves in knots trying to figure you out, wondering if you really believe that stuff you're spouting. You'll watch media watchdogs chasing their tails as they fact-check every cockamamie thing you say ... like your fans care if it's true or not!
And good luck keeping a straight face when someone like Jay Leno earnestly asks you if your point with all your harum-scarum rhetoric is to advance conservative ideas ... or sell books.
How those books are gonna sell!
Even when the FCC is hell-bent on ridding the airwaves of indecency, the First Amendment will still be in place, no matter how much you may sneer at it. So you can rest assured that, until such time as there's a wardrobe malfunction with your evening gown, your behavior is constitutionally protected.
Sure, challenges await you down the line. To sustain the shock effect, you'll have to up the ante in your next book, and jack it up further in the one after that.
And when your looks start to go, well, you could be out of business. Don't count on Bill Maher to still be sniffing at her hemline when you look like a hag. (How will you blame your crow's feet on liberals?)
But no need to get ahead of yourself. In the near term, you'll have it made. That's entertainment! That's a money machine! That's a -- wait a minute ... I've got a funny feeling I didn't come up with this strategy myself. Did someone beat me to it? Suddenly I'm feeling so godless! And treasonous!
But I'm not a girly boy.
Watching TV for KCRW, but please don't call me a girly boy, this is Associated Press TV writer Frazier Moore.