Saturday, July 17, 2004

Martha: "Look at Nelson Mandela ..."
Last night, according to CVTv -- I was out drinking -- "Martha, Martha Martha" Stewart compared herself, rather quixotically, to Nelson Mandela:
"Being interviewed by Barbara Walters on ABC Friday night, domestic diva Martha Stewart, who's been sentenced to five months in prison, compared herself to South African hero Nelson Mandela who spent 27 years in prison for his anti-apartheid beliefs.
'There are many, many good people who have gone to prison,' Stewart said. 'Look at Nelson Mandela.'"
But the best lines are reserved for the ABC web site, which says, almost tongue in cheek, the soft chuckles escaping:
"When asked how she would handle prison food, fellow inmates and strip searches, she said, 'I could do it � I'm a really good camper. I can sleep on the ground ... If it is looming ahead of me, I'm going to have to face it, and take it and do it and get it over with. And there's many other people that have gone to prison. Look at Nelson Mandela.'"
Glad to know that Martha can sleep on the ground and endure the meat surprise, but, of course, now we know that she won't have to: her bed will do just fine. The Mandela reference, however, escapes us entirely. Entirely!
How does 27 years of boinb locked down on Robben's island, in the punishing "C-Section,"  in the struggle for racial equality relate, even remotely --remotely -- compare to five months of home confinement and a $30,000 fine for her role in a stock deal gone awry?
ABC continues:
"During the trial, for example, the press scrutinized her wardrobe and suggested that she appeared arrogant and haughty to the jury. Even her choice of handbags was noted, particularly a Hermes Birkin handbag, said to cost at least $6,000.

"Stewart said the focus on her handbag was unfair. 'Do you know that that is my only handbag. Do you know that? Do you know how many handbags I own? And that I bought that handbag I think it was 12 or 14 years ago. I bought that for myself when I felt successful enough to buy a beautiful handbag. And it did not cost $6,000 12 or 14 years ago.'"  
Why is it that right about now I feel as if I was just scolded by one of those Fifth Avenue Ladies Who Lunch because I almost stepped on her pet lapdog, as she was in between "shopping adventures"?


TheBlackNewYorker said...

I heard Martha's statement while I was sleeping and I thought I was dreaming. Nelson Mandela was in prison when I was in 6th grade and didn't come out until I was a grown woman with a child of my own. That is a LOOOOONG time. I'm just flabbergasted, even though I think that Martha got shafted. I feel for her, she is not a member of the "ladies who lunch", I've seen her work hard to get where she WAS.

Ron said...

Yeah, she's not a lady who lunches, i know. I was defnitely going after her on this because of my own dealings with her frostiness: In 1999 I was research editor of the Silicon Alley Reporter year end issue, and it was my job, among other things, to get the SAR 100 members -- as many as I could -- to come to new york for the photo shoot. I got Sam Donaldson of ABC News, I got former Attorney General nominee under Clinton Zoe Baird, I got Tim and Nina Zagatt, I got Geri Laybourne of Oxygen, Lou Dobbs. Even Jim Cramer sent his regrets. The Billionaires showed up en masse. Martha never even aknowledged the months of emails, calls, everything I did to get her to show up for one lousy photo -- in her own office building!


That having been said, what she did -- and I believe she did it -- is small fry, andI do believe she -- a woman billionaire -- was a target -- unconsciously, not counsciously, because, frankly, she got uppity and she may give other women ideas. She got big and she started flaunting it at parties and painted a big bullseye on her back that dared the hyper-testosterone prosectors to go after her.

But speaking the way she does and the frosty was she treated people was what got the guilty verdict. Believe me, in the chattering classes, Martha has a hundreds of enemies of people who have worked for or with her or dated or were friends with someone who had something to do with Martha Stewart Omnimedia. I believe that is why she mentioned the fired workers and emoted, and, last night, distinguished that "we are all little people."


You could tell from the stories written about her that the media bears a grudge. it's not a good idea to be hated by the media, and, I think, she is remedying the situation; although the Mandela quote is going to cause her some short term pain when talk radio gets ahold of it.

TheBlackNewYorker said...

Did you actually get Martha herself on the phone, for the invite?, or were you going through her staff? Her staff may have tossed the messages and emails. Most CEO's love media attention. Staff always think they know what's best for their employer, if they knew so much, they would be the dayum CEO. I find the best way to get to a CEO is to say: "Tell Martha (or any CEO name), to reach me on my cell, it's very important". That always works for me. LOL.

astralgirl01 said...

Well, I do think that Martha was smokin' that ewwwwwwwww-wheeeeee when she compared herself to Nelson Mandela... is she kidding?

But I do agree with you, Ron, that MS was targeted because she was a powerful woman that dared to flex her wealth and power publicly. Martha wasn't doing anything that the CEOs of Enron, Tyco et al. hadn't done in the past.

I hope Martha wins her appeal. And if she does have to go to the Big House, I'm hoping she comes out hardcore ripped and in shape via all of those crazy prison exercises that Details and Maxim love to ramble on about....

Ron said...

yeah, I was going through Martha's staff, so it's possible she never got the invite. Bob Johnson of BET also never responded, so if he ever gets in legal trouble, The Corsair will be all over him.

I, too, hope she wins her appeal. Jean harris on Tina Brown's Topic A really made me rethink just what putting a useful woman like Martha behind bars would serve. Harris said that Martha should just take the 5 mos. of house arrest though, as it was as good a deal as she prolly will get.

Can you imagine a Details-Maxim Danbury women's prison w/ Martha story? lol


astralgirl01 said...

RE: Bob Johnson... wow, there's a whole world of dirt-dishing awaiting him.

I had so many friends who worked for BET when it was in DC. All sorts of stories about iron-clad contracts where writers and show producers sold their work for pennies on the dollar while Bobby-Boy was out shopping for new ponies for his pampered daughter Paige.

Speaking of... I love how the Johnson family PR has kicked into overdrive trying to make her into the new black socialite. The profile on her in the new issue of Teen Vogue is out of control.

But hey, Ron, she's heir to Bob's billion-dollar fortune... snap to it!

TheBlackNewYorker said...

Well, Bob Johnson will always be, "the man who lived in Lefrak City" to me. He was actually my neighbor. It could have been me, lol

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