Thursday, July 24, 2008
The editor who used his book pitch as a cover story in the name of Mandela
Time magazine's top editor, Rick Stengel, wrote a big cover story the other week, in honor of Nelson Mandela and his leadership style. Fair enough, the Nobel peace prize laureate was just feted in London with an AIDS benefit concert for his 90th birthday, and Stengel had helped collaborate on the great man's autobiography (in the mid-90s, ie last century.) He was on all the talk shows peddling the Mandela name and the special issue. He left out the little bit of news he was sitting on.
It turns out that Rick has more to say. The cover story was also his book proposal, and a day after the issue was out on the stands, Crown publishers gave the editor a huge advance and a contract to produce a new Mandela tome. Slick. But kinda exploitative.
It's said that some of the proceeds will go towards charity. We'll see. Something about this guy screams ethically challenged. Prove us wrong, Rick.