Checks, Guise, and Videotape

Wired’s Amanda Chicago Lewis: Sex Tapes, Hush Money, and Hollywood’s Economy of Secrets. Meet Kevin Blatt, the celebrity fixer who’s a master at shepherding compromising material off the internet—or into the hands of the highest bidder. “American history is filled with carnival barkers and snake-oil marketers who put showmanship before truth. Blatt was the right marketer in the right circus. Soon clicks would come to determine what gets put in front of our eyeballs. When media follows consumer desire, audiences get outrage and vulgarity—and Blatt was more than happy to deliver.” (It sure beats having carnival barkers and snake-oil marketers in charge of your coronavirus response.)

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