Monday, March 02, 2009

Rod Blagojevich's Book Deal: Decoded!

As a former editor, current author and part-time super hero, I have participated on both sides of the dealmaking process. So when I read that former Chicago Governor Rod Blagojevich just got a "six figure book deal," I decided to put on my super-secret publishing decoder glasses and see what the former Governor's press release really says (Actual release in italics. Decoded secret press release in bold). Here we go:

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich today signed a six figure book deal with one of the largest independent book publishers in the U.S., the PR firm representing Blagojevich announced today.

Decoded: Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagjoevich today signed a deal with the largest publisher of tawdry, D-list celebrities, celebrity wives, and all out degenerates, including Debbie "Eminem's mom" Nelson, Natalie "world's highest paid escort" McLennan, Larry "Hustler" Flint, Vera "I kept Dee Dee Ramone's last name so people would recognize me" Ramone King, and Patch "Robin Williams played me in a 1998 movie, remember?" Adams, the PR firm representing Blagojevich announced today because Blagojevich is paying them to do so.

Blagojevich, who vehemently denies he tried to sell President Obama's senate seat, will write about the discussions, the considerations and the factors involved in picking Obama's successor to the U.S. Senate. Blagojevich maintains he was hijacked from office because of politics. In the book, he will write about his journey that led up to the twice-elected governor and former congressman being ousted from office. He also plans on exposing the dark side of politics that he witnessed in both the state and national level.

Decoded: Blagojevich will consistently claim to be an upstanding member of society and a squeaky-clean politician, while refusing to take blame for anything he's ever done and throwing everyone he's ever met under the bus because he's not going to sell books unless he creates controversy. He will also include a full color photo insert full of old people, children and minorities holding hand-made signs that read "We Love You, Rod Blagojevich" spelled out in macaroni.

Phoenix Books is run by maverick publisher Michael Viner whose titles include books from celebrities like mega-rock star and businessman Gene Simmons and talk show host Larry King. Phoenix also has a large selection of popular fiction and intriguing mystery books.

Decoded: Michael Viner is a "maverick" who publishes disgraced personalities like Jayson Blair who no other publisher will touch because they wouldn't be able to sleep at night, as well as books from musicians like Gene Simmons who have since made nasty sex tapes and sold their artistic souls for reality television glory.

"The governor chose to go with a large independent company because he wanted to tell his story without any restrictions over content that might've come with a major publishing house," says Glenn Selig, Blagojevich's publicist and founder of The Publicity Agency. "He simply did not want to accept constraints or conditions on what he could say in this book."

Decoded: The Governor signed a deal with Phoenix because no mainstream publisher would touch him with a ten foot pole, and because he likely wouldn't talk about any issues that were not completely self-serving or include anything juicy or interesting that people would actually want to read. Yet he must spin this unsurprising lack of interest so he sounds just like his "maverick" publisher.

Selig says the governor will tell the American public the truth about what happened. He does not intend to pull any punches and will reveal information and provide insights that will at times be embarrassing to himself as well as to others.

Decoded: Remember, he was hijacked from office due to politics, so any embarrassing insights will certainly not have anything to with Blagojevich's political career, because that would contradict the notion that he did nothing wrong. Instead, the former Governor will discuss the time he peed himself during a screening of "The Blair Witch Project." 

"There were some people in high places who didn't want the governor to write this book and worked to try to squash a book deal," says Selig.

Decoded: By high places, the Governor means Dale Jorgenson, the guy Blagjoevich lifeguarded with one summer, who heard that his former friend Rod is planning to tell the embarrassing story about the two of them, a bottle of Cuervo and a donkey from Tijuana named Carlos. 

The terms of the book deal were not disclosed. The book, which has a working title of "The Governor," is set to be released by Phoenix Books in October.

Decoded: The terms of the deal were not disclosed because a former Governor taking a low five figure, incentive-laden publishing contract is kind of embarrassing, and we'd prefer to call it a six figure deal because technically if the Governor earns his bonuses it could conceivably total that much. And the title of Blagojevich's book was inspired by Richard Nixon's autobiography: "The President".

The literary agent of record is Jarred Weisfeld of Objective Entertainment.

Decoded: Don't call him, he'll call you.

For Breaking News developments on former Gov. Blagojevich, please follow The Publicity Agency on Twitter at

Decoded: For breaking news on Shaquille O'Neal's current dining location, follow him on Twitter at Because that will be far more entertaining.

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Blogger Jonathan E. Quist said...

Jason, your mastery of the intricacies and subtleties of Illinois politics is every bit as insightful as Blagojevich's leadership is inciteful.

We could use your kind of talent in Illinois. How does the position of Senator sound? We're expecting another vacancy soon, and your appointment can be arranged for a small finder's fee...

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Absolutely hilarious. Bravo, Jason!

12:01 PM  
Blogger Alex Bash said...

Babelfish needs a "Translate from BS to Jason Pinter" option.

12:51 AM  
Blogger Jason Pinter said...

You have now entered...THE NO SPIN ZONE (copyright Bill O'Reilly).

8:00 AM  

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