Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Do book promotion campaigns require tolerance for hate?

Do book promotion campaigns require tolerance for hate? Obviously, they do not. And, as a book publicist, I will never understand why authors subject themselves to interviews with talk show hosts whose on-air persona is about spreading rancor, narrow-mindedness, and xenophobia.

I'm aware that some of the (in my opinion, although I recognize it's a question of personal taste) chief offenders -- Don Imus and Howard Stern among them -- aren't leaving the airwaves any time soon. But I hope that a Boston-area radio talk show host by the name of Jay Severin whose idiocy just came to my attention will be leaving his world, WTKK-FM, for a distant galaxy permanently. Severin, it seems, thinks that Mexico (and, by extension, those who live in Mexico) is to blame for the Swine Flu. I can't quite follow the logic, but apparently, Severin thinks the spread of H1N1 is tied to illegal immigration . . . which, somehow, gives him the right to give voice to racial slurs on the air.

However fast and furious the pace of booking author media interviews might be, I can guarantee you that I would never knowingly schedule an interview with an individual who is disrespectful toward anyone on the air . . . or who earns a living by putting people down. Subjecting authors to foolish, unwise, or short-sighted talk show hosts is no way to promote books . . . and it's no way to run a book promotion firm, either.

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