Magazine article The Spectator

Unerring Bad Taste

Magazine article The Spectator

Unerring Bad Taste

Article excerpt

Anne Chisholm

SCANDAL

by Amanda Platell Piatkus, L5.99-op. 297

It might perhaps be assumed that someone with a track record like Amanda Platell's, an Australian who has edited the Sunday Mirror and the Sunday Express, served as managing director of the Independent and whose current job is Head of News and Media for the Conservative party, could not be a fool. However, on the evidence of this novel, a luridly presented airport paperback purporting to b a "sexy, scandalous and utterly aythenic expose of the world of journalism,' foolish she must be. Unless, like her heroine, she has a handsome winemwker lurking in the Western Australian bush ready to provide an escape to a simplier life, she is likely to find this dismal little book, vulgar and illwritten even by the low standards of the genre, to have been an unfortunate career move. Whatever else she earns from it, she will not earn respect.

The story such as it is, revolves around the rivalry between two women editors and the accompoying boardroom battles for control of the Tribune Group. Georgina, with whom the author presumably idnetifies, edits the Sunday Tribune; shi is slim, composed, and elegant and wears dark business suits and red lipstick. Sharon, who edits the Daily, is shorter and fatter with an 'all year round sunbed tan', and wears tangerine lipstick and bras two sizes too small. Her gigantic cleavage is presumably a sign that she is based on the similarly endowed Eve Pollard. She keeps a bottle of vodka in her desk, shrieks obscenities at her staff and is obsessed with getting rid of Georgina. Their boss, Douglas, is chief executive of the Group, which he runs, as Platell puts it with unerring bad taste, 'with all the efficiency of a concentration camp'. He intends to make the Tribune a sevenday tabloid operation, so one of the editors will have to go, Meanwhile his trusted managing director is scheming to shaft him and take over his job. …

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