Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
June 7, 2003
POP CULTURE: Martha, Martha, Martha

I have to say that I don't have a strong stake either way in the Martha Stewart saga; I've never been interested in her show or her products simply because I'm not much interested in the subjects of how to entertain, how to fix up your home, etc.

Mark Steyn, oddly enough, has some fond memories of Martha, and penned a sympathetic piece in the Wall Street Journal on Friday (subscription only). Steyn is undoubtedly correct that the "Martha brand" of products can't really be separated from Martha the personality; her company will survive only if she, in some sense, survives.

Steyn seems to think that Martha might come out of the criminal case OK in the end, but personally I suspect that Martha The Cottage Industry will come out OK even if Martha winds up serving jail time; I'd suggest my own analogy -- to Marv Albert. Marv, as you may remember, was convicted in an incredibly ugly case a few years back (I seem to recall it involved some sort of sex-related assault charge, with all sorts of sordid testimony about Marv biting his girlfriend). Today, he's back doing Knick games. And he's back, not because the public thought he was innocent or forgave his crimes; not because we're a particularly benevolent society or Marv a particularly beloved figure. He's back for one reason: he calls a good basketball game. And once he'd paid his debt to society, people wanted to hear Marv Albert do basketball again.

That's how it may be with Martha. Maybe she's not loved, and maybe she's not innocent; but she's good at what she does, and a great many people watch her show and buy her magazine and her products because people believe that Martha Stewart is a good guide to homemaking. And, once a decent interval has passed, they'll still feel that way.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:54 PM | Pop Culture | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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