'Dear Leader' to live on in 'unauthorized autobiography'
Well, it was only a matter of time.
Now, North Korea’s late, great “Dear Leader,” Kim Jong-il shall have his life immortalized in an, “as dictated to” autobiography penned by self-proclaimed ghost writer to the stars, Michael Malice.
The writer, fresh off the plane with a suitcase full of propaganda he personally spirited out of Pyongyang, says he’s ready to write the unauthorized tome, Dear Reader, just “the way the Dear Leader would have wanted it.”
An “unauthorized autobiography” you say?
“People, please,” pleads Malice, “this is Kim Jong-il – nothing is impossible.”
Malice promises he’ll sort fact from fiction in his research of the famous man who, until his death in Dec. 2011, rattled the West repeatedly with threats to use nuclear weapons.
Kim Jong-il, “may not have invented the hamburger,” Malice offers authoritatively – debunking a claim the Dear Leader made in July 2004. But he did invent a lot of other stuff, like operas and calendars.
And for Malice, he remains “the ultimate celebrity ghost.”
True, Malice never had a single sit down with Kim, the way Malice has with other subjects like music star Brett Michaels and footballer Matt Hughes. But he feels he can rely – in the main – on bedrock North Korean propaganda like Kim Jong Il: Lodestar of the 21st Century and a dozen other definitive works.
Just how he’ll work in Pyongyang Ostrich Ranch – which Malice promises to do – he hasn’t revealed.
And what better way to fund a book about a man of the masses, he says, than by the masses themselves?
Malice launched his fund raising efforts on Kickstarter.com this week, already amassing more than 100 supporters, while simultaneously mounting an email campaign aimed at influential Western journalists (ahem!) with the wily opener, “Greetings, fellow imperialist!”
Make no mistake though, Malice has a track record for success.
Concierge Confidential, which he co-authored with Manhattan concierge Michael Fazio, won a strong following in the U.S.
Could Dear Reader be a similarly explosive success?
Oh – let’s not go there.
Bill Schiller has held bureau postings for the Toronto Star in Johannesburg, Berlin, London and Beijing. He is a NNA and Amnesty International Award winner, and a Harvard Nieman Fellow from the class of '06. Follow him on Twitter @wschiller