Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A diet to wean yourself off Junk Journalism

Advertising Age's "Media Guy" last Friday had a terrific commentary on media consumers reducing their intake of -- well -- junk.

Clear Your System of Nasty Media Toxins (No Colonics Required!)
Here's a Guide to Cutting Consumption of Paris, Larry King and All the Other Industry Trans Fats
By Simon Dumenco

You've probably heard about a book called "21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox," since it's been heavily hyped by celebrities including Howard Stern sidekick Robin Quivers. The book posits that we all consume so much junk -- unhealthful foods that are poorly prepared and laced with toxins -- that in order to shock our systems back into "wellness," a drastic plan of action is required.

Duly inspired, I've developed my own regimen called The Manhattan Media Diet Detox, which I'm shopping around to publishers. Coincidentally, I, too, posit that we all consume so much junk -- unhealthful media that is poorly prepared and laced with toxins -- that in order to shock our systems back into "wellness," a drastic plan of action is required. (The good news: Unlike with the Martha's Vineyard Diet Detox, colonics are generally not required.)

A few guidelines to start with:
HILTONS: no consumption of information about Hiltons at all. No Rick, no Kathy, no Nicky, no Paris -- not even Barron Hilton, the family patriarch and co-chairman of Hilton Hotels. In fact, while on The Manhattan Media Diet Detox, I encourage you to entirely abstain from staying at Hilton Hotels. Actually, I encourage everyone to boycott Hilton Hotels, despite the fact that the Hilton family is about to cash out big-time by selling the chain to the Blackstone Group, because I think it's important to avoid exposure to toxic brands. Seriously, has any single human alive ever done as much, as quickly, as Paris to tarnish a once-respectable family brand name? Like, imagine if the late Dave Thomas's daughter did porn, drove drunk and said things on video like "I'm a little black whore. I get f---ed in the butt for coke" (as Paris did, as seen on The Smoking Gun last week). Wouldn't you lose your appetite for a Wendy's burger at least a little bit? Likewise, I maintain that soaking in a Hilton Hotel hot tub, or even just wrapping yourself in Hilton Hotel bed sheets, puts you at risk of emotional toxicity due to gravely undesirable psychological associations (this is known in the hospitality industry as the "ewwwww factor").

'LARRY KING LIVE': Compared with many newer, obviously highly synthetic TV figures (e.g., Ryan Seacrest), Larry King may seem like a relatively benign, old-fashioned, "natural" choice. But the truth is, watching his show will leave you feeling queasy, bloated and foggy-headed. Viewers who are stupid already for tuning in to his softball interviews with the self-pitying likes of P. Hilton and I. Washington often find themselves markedly stupider afterward.

STAR, IN TOUCH, ETC. It's not enough to cut them out of your media diet. And it's definitely not enough to simply discard them. Remember that episode of "Seinfeld" in which George Costanza spotted a chocolate ├ęclair atop a pile of trash in a kitchen waste bin? Remember what happened? To avoid relapse, I recommend feeding your latest issues of Star, etc., into a (preferably crosscut) shredder. If you're feeling anxiety at the thought, here, for the record, is all that you'll miss: Some cute celebrities will mate with each other and produce even cuter babies, Nicole Richie will lose some more weight, Ashlee Simpson will try on some totally cute shoes at a boutique, and Michael Lohan and Lynne Spears will express grave concern about their respective spawn. Oh, and Matthew McConaughey will jog on the beach without his shirt on. That's about it.

I will, of course, pad out my Manhattan Media Diet Detox book with lots of sidebars, illustrations, large type, white space and testimonials -- which will totally make the hardcover worth $24.95. As a special bonus, I'll also write stuff like this: "You say you want to improve your overall well-being and rid yourself of the media contaminants that accumulate in your mind, weigh you down, and undermine your sanity? Start today and give your brain the gift of lasting health!"