There's no end to the Kardashian empire's ambition. Sources say the reality attention-grabbers, perhaps because of negative publicity after Kim's ill-fated marriage, now want to lead their own coverage and are close to landing a deal with American Media Inc., which owns Star, The National Enquirer and Shape, to launch a glossy dedicated to the family.
Fashionista calls this "ironic." Or you might call it "convenient" (with Church Lady intonation, preferably). Because, as "a competitor" complained to the Post, "Now the Kardashians can spin their own stories in print." Not to mention that they'd have the leverage to keep the celebrity-journalistic dogs at AMI at bay.
In fact, the potential Kardashian mag seems vaguely reminiscent of an oddball deal AMI did with Arnold Schwarzenegger back in 2004. He was named executive editor of AMI's Muscle & Fitness and Flex magazines. While he was a sitting governor -- of California. As USA Today reported at the time, "Schwarzenegger will be getting an undisclosed salary, one he describes as 'petty compared to the movies. You don't do it for that reason. I want to promote physical fitness.'"
After the news broke last year -- in The Los Angeles Times -- that Schwarzenegger had fathered a lovechild with a longtime member of his household staff, Saki Knafo of The Huffington Post asked (in a HuffPo Divorce channel column with this title), "How Did Arnold Schwarzenegger Keep His Cheating Hidden For So Long?" Here's one clue: Knafo wrote that "a reporter for the AMI tabloids in 2006 said there was a mandate in the newsroom that had been whispered down the company's chain of command: 'You don't touch Schwarzenegger.'"
Would the Kardashians, should they pull off their dubious magazine deal with AMI, be subject to less journalistic scrutiny from AMI sister publications? Well, duh. And it'd be hilarious if someday we get to read after-the-fact scuttlebutt about AMI newsroom mandates along the lines of "You don't touch the Kardashians." Especially since the insufferable, fatally overexposed Kardashians are already well on their way to being pop-cultural untouchables, with or without any help from AMI.
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.