I live smack dab in the middle of Middle America so I wasn’t surprised when yesterday’s Oprah was censored. While the rest of the country was hearing the lurid details of the fall of evangelical Ted Haggard, I got a rerun on how to organizational my home.
I suppose some well meaning local media executive didn’t want Haggard’s laundry aired all over his station. Whoever made that call wasn’t doing Haggard any favors. As the day wore on and Haggard’s story was covered by every major news outlet, it was easy to see what was going on: a press junket. Just as Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have to hit the talk show circuit to plug their movies, so does Haggard. A documentary about his fall from grace premiered on HBO last night.
But when I did a little more reading, I learned that Haggard did not get paid for appearing in the film, and will not receive any kind of royalties. So what’s his angle?
If you believe he’s out to save the world, then maybe Tom just went on Oprah to enlighten us all about the perils of homosexuality and drug use. If you believe he’s a business man, like me you’re probably wondering what he’ll try to sell us on the heels of all this free publicity.
- Is it a memoir of redemption?
- Is it a seminar to help gay men live the straight life?
- Is it a new mega church for those who’ve dabbled in crystal meth?
Haggard is clearly a savvy promoter. He’s turned an episode of extreme personal shame into a brilliant marketing opportunity. I just can’t wait to find out his angle.
If you’re curious like me, watch Haggard on Larry King tonight.