Lying Media Bastards

October 18, 2005

On Drugs


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This is one of the craziest PR ploys I’ve ever heard of.

While the American pharmaceutical industry makes 40 trillion metric dollars per year, that’s not enough. Some Americans who don’t like the whole price-goudging thing will import their prescriptions from Canadian companies to save money. This Canadian underground railroad might take in as much as $1 billion a year. And Big Pharma can’t have that.

So earlier this year, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) paid hired a novelist to write a thriller about Croatian terrorists using these Canadian pharmacy websites to slaughter millions of Americans.

No, really. It was to be called “The Spivak Conspiracy”, and was being co-written by ghostwriter Julie Chrystyn and Kenin Spivak. The PhRMA made one payment to publisher Phoenix Books for the manuscript, but was unhappy with the direction of the first draft. Says Spivak:

“They said they wanted it somewhat dumbed down for women, with a lot more fluff in it, and more about the wife of the head Croatian terrorist, who is a former Miss Mexico. They also wanted to change the motivating factor of the terrorists to greed, because they didn’t want it to be politics. They wanted lots of people to die.”

(Women are the largest consumers of these Candian drugs, and the PhRMA feels that women are stupid and want to read about terrorists’ wives more than they want to read about terrorists)

Happily, when the PhRMA pulled out of the project and tried to bribe the book’s authors into keeping quiet about it, the authors went public and we all learned this crazy-ass tale. The book is to be published next year, under the modified name “The Karasik Conspiracy”.

But we’ve got one more nutty angle on this one.

Remember Jayson Blair, the NY Times reporter who was fired for printing fake stories? Apparently after his days at the NYT, he became a book editor, at… Phoenix Books. And was assigned to assist with… “The Karasik Conspiracy.” Says Chrystyn:

“I thought I’d give Jayson a break. He’d phone bright and early. He seemed conscientious. I was impressed. Besides, this was fiction, which is something for which he clearly has a talent.

“Then one midnight the guy called. I felt something was off. He said he wanted to review my contract, to ’save’ me. I said I have lawyers and agents; I’m in good hands, thanks. He persisted, and I dodged. He said, ‘From now on, you have to run everything by me. You have to look out. I’ll protect you.’ He trashed people I was involved with, trashed whoever had been good to him and was giving him a chance. He became an angry young man.

“He was in North Carolina, I was in Arizona, and he wanted me to meet him in Texas. I said I wasn’t ready. He said then he’d fly to me the next day. I said I’m on a 45-day deadline, this is a waste of time; I’d e-mail him and we’d meet later on. By now my head was spinning. He wanted to be my ghostwriter. I thought he was kidding. Then he said, ‘Lie. Tell everyone you met with me.’ ”

So who’s crazier? The PhRMA for their attempts to scare up profits through Tom Clancy-esque prose? Or the seemingly unglued, conspiracy-happy Jayson Blair?

[via Stay Free! Daily]

Posted by Jake on October 18, 2005 8:06 pm

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