The morning talk shows aren't clamoring, Joe Eszterhas is more popular, and I'm food-tasting the Arctic char at Lever House for Myrna Blyth. What's going on here? Myrna's new book, "Spin Sisters," all about women in media and media for women, is the most controversial book in town, and it hasn't even yet been published (it comes out March 1 from St. Martin's Press). Myrna, who edited Ladies' Home Journal from 1981 until recently, says that she and her fellow women's magazine editors are failing their readers by painting them as victims at a time when women in America have never been doing so well. "We're telling women life is hard, `you're frumpy, you're fragile, and you ought to be fearful.' While all the while the most stressed women of all are women in media. The No. 1 problem is people don't have enough money. So $25 bath oils and going to spas for a week aren't the option. I want to be honest, I want to be provocative, and I want to convey a message to women in America." Her book's been selected by Book of the Month Club and the Literary Guild and will be excerpted by Reader's Digest. She's already a hot property on the speakers' circuit, with an April talk in the U.S. Senate Caucus Room to Senate staffers et al. And, for the record, she's a "moderate Republican" in a hotbed of liberal Dems. Why didn't Myrna speak out like this while still working for Meredith? Did they silence or pressure her? "Not a bit of it," she says. "But media reflect media, you begin to reflect what everyone in media is doing. I wish I had used the bully pulpit then. I did some of it at the Journal but mostly at More, of which I am very proud." Is there a conspiracy among Katie and Diane and Barbara Walters to keep her off their shows? "You'll have to ask (St. Martin's PR director) John Murphy that," she said blithely. Murph said, "We'd love to have her on the shows and there's no conspiracy."
Self is celebrating 25 years of publication and Beth Brenner's 10 years as publisher.
Cyndi Stivers of red-hot Time Out New York raves about their new West Side Manhattan digs near Hell's Kitchen. Says they have an office parlor game to label the area, which Realtors call Hudson Yards. Favorite so far, "Hell's Pantry."
Pete Hunsinger of GQ claims everyone else got the invite and 900 clients and press attended their "Hot Winter Party." We'll have lunch to discuss.