For unclear reasons, the Times felt compelled to hand a huge chunk of its Sunday Business section over to a profile of Bonnie Fuller—the woman most responsible for creating our nation's soul-destroying cast of powerful celebrity magazines—who was recently axed from her multimillion-dollar gig as editorial chief of American Media. A sympathetic profile! The news peg, purportedly: Bonnie Fuller is doing some vague new project on the internet. For women! With specifics to be determined! Color us skeptical. The Fuller that the Times describes does not sound like the woman who was so despised by her assistants that they put snot in her food. What's the major malfunction here?
After being booted from American Media last month (after lying about it in a rather terrible way), Fuller is now in the midst of some vague web project, bankrolled by former Viacom exec Russ Pillar. The revolutionary idea:
Mr. Pillar says his company, the 5850 Group, is seeking to raise "tens of millions" to back Ms. Fuller as a brand: she has created a company called Bonnie Fuller Media, based in New York. He says the start-up will be heavily digital and offer a variety of femme-friendly products that will include, but not be limited to, gossip, fashion and romance.
Stop the motherfucking presses! If Bonnie Fuller even has a serious plan for what this new, derivative digital project will consist of, we will personally eat a shoe (send over the plan to collect on that, Bonnie). Further, the Times David Carr, while acknowledging that other people have serious problems with Fuller, is personally pleased as punch with her, and says as much both implicitly and explicitly:
Ms. Fuller has created a frothy world, and, like it or not, we all live in it...
That prurient need to know just a little more is pure Bonnie Fuller...
Yes, celebrities have always been with us, but not quite in the way they are now since Ms. Fuller rethought them as familiars, our fake friends whom we can slag or praise, depending on the moment...
AT the moment of her disenfranchisement last month, many publishing insiders could barely hide their glee, although they still sought the cloak of anonymity because Ms. Fuller is the queen of second acts. They hate not only the game — readers at all costs — but also the player...
Having covered Ms. Fuller on and off for the last eight years in her various jobs, I have never been a Bonnie Fuller hater. (Of course, I never worked for her.) For one thing, she has a lack of pretension, an ability to size herself, that's rare in publishing. And on technical magazine matters, she has few peers. She can dig into the relationship between a magazine and its readers with a rare kind of intuition.
Bonnie Fuller: A publishing world hero deserving of praise. Her opponents are straight up haters! And she can sell magazines, so she deserves our respect. And the blog hate—sympathy, please!
And Fuller's most passionate defender in the story? Former Star editor and Asshat Joe Dolce. Not interviewed: her ex-assistants. That pretty much says it all.