Former First Lady Michelle Obama loves to receive glowing media attention, and has seized every opportunity to monetize the Obama legacy. But now Mrs. Obama is being called out by the New York Post, which has accused her of a “craven cash grab.”
Maureen Callahan of the Post slammed the former first lady for her new publishing venture, “Becoming: A Guided Journal for Discovering Your Voice.” The new venture, which is a journal of sorts is being marketed as a sequel to Obama’s bestselling book Becoming; it is a slim volume priced at $19.99 promising to “provide you with the encouragement to find value in your own personal journey.”
Callahan wrote in the Post, “Not content with more than 10 million books sold, a Netflix deal in the high eight figures, a joint publishing advance with husband Barack worth $65 million, a highly profitable world tour, speaking fees that by now surely average around $500,000 per, and a recently acquired waterfront Martha’s Vineyard mansion purchased for $15 million, Michelle Obama is back with another craven money grab.”
Marketing materials for the new book say, “Printed on cream writing paper, with a grosgrain ribbon, foil-stamped cover, and removable half-jacket, ‘Becoming’ … includes thought-provoking prompts designed to help you reflect on your personal and family history: your goals, challenges and dreams; what moves you and brings you hope; and what future you imagine for yourself and your community.”
Objective reporting for the educated American.
Some of these “thought-provoking” prompts are:
“Do you have any favorite quotes? Capture them here.”
“Describe a memorable dinner. What did you eat? Did you eat at home or somewhere else?”
“List 10 fun things you like to do.”
“List ten favorite vegetables and how you like to prepare them.”
“Who or what are you grateful for?”
“Create a playlist of ten songs that you could listen to on repeat.”
“List ten things you noticed on your way home today that no one else may have noticed.”
“List your ten favorite movies.”
“List ten outings you’ve been on with your family.”
Callahan wasn’t having any of it. She ripped Obama, writing, “That’s a lot of Top 10 lists. Seriously: Any fourth-grade class in a halfway decent school is presented with more complicated essay questions.
“It’s not hard to see how Obama, who this year passed Angelina Jolie as the world’s most admired woman, has come to engage in such a cynical, soulless commodification of her time in the White House, one that, quite frankly, verges on an epic troll.
“Last year, I attended the kickoff event for Obama’s multi-city book tour in Chicago, and came away fairly horrified. Hosted by Oprah and held in the 20,000-seat United Center, only a small number of tickets were priced at $29.50; the average went from $500 all the way to $3,000. As eulogistic videos of Michelle were screened for a full hour — set to no shortage of female empowerment anthems — attendees roamed the paraphernalia-stuffed halls.”
Callahan also pointed out that Obama is peddling merchandise along with her new journal. This includes a $65 Becoming hoodie, a $20 mug, and a $15 keychain.
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