Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Senator's Book Publicist

Who is Senator Ted Kennedy's book publicist? That's the question that was on my mind when I read an article in this morning's Boston Globe Magazine about Ted's new children's book.

In the article's second Q&A, the senator mentions his son, Congressman Patrick Kennedy. Here's the context. Ted tells us that Patrick's asthma is one of the reasons why Ted and his wife, Vicki, acquired the "non-allergic" dog, Splash, who is the subject of children's book Ted is currently promoting.

As someone who understands the motto, "the show must go on," I can sympathize with Ted's wanting his book promotion campaign to move ahead despite the personal problems he faces. However, I have a hard time understanding why Ted's book publicist may have thought the timing of this particular book promotion "hit" was a good idea.

Ted's asthmatic son, Patrick, was recently admitted to a drug rehab program a day or two after he was involved in a car accident. There are those who believe that Patrick should have been given a breathalizer test at the scene of the car accident. Additionally, there are those who say that Patrick has given conflicted statements about the quantity, and quality, of his memories of the car accident and what may have precipitated it.

In other words, Patrick is having serious problems right now, and since Patrick is Ted's son, it would be a fair statement that Ted is having serious problems right now as well. And what is Ted doing right now, as he sips his morning coffee? You guessed it. He's reading an article about his children's book.

There's a time to promote books and a time to not promote books. In my opinion, when your son is having serious problems is a good time to suspend a book promotion campaign for your children's book.

Maybe the senator's book publicist asked the Boston Globe Magazine's editor to kindly pull the article, and the editor refused. That would certainly call into question the editor's judgment, wouldn't it?

Ah, well. I'm a great fan of children's books, but I wasn't in the market to buy Ted's book, anyway . . . even before I saw that his son's drug problems didn't put a dent in his book promotion campaign efforts.

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