Tuesday, December 24, 2013

When faux art flops

What happened to Lady Gaga?

On Nov. 6, amid the kind of hype not seen since Michael Jackson floated a statue of himself down the Thames River, Lady Gaga released her third studio album, “ARTPOP.”

And not since Jackson has such a globally famous, white-hot pop star had such a rise and precipitous fall: “ARTPOP” is on track to lose $25 million for her label, Interscope, prompting ­rumors of imminent layoffs.

But it’s not just album sales. When Gaga opened this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, her performance was eclipsed by the twerking Miley Cyrus. Gaga’s work as both host and performer on a recent “Saturday Night Live” was underwhelming, and her recent ABC special, “Lady Gaga and The Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular,” had a dismal 0.9 rating among viewers ages 18 to 49, with just 3.6 million viewers total.
For those keeping score, that means the average episode of Duck Dynasty has three times the audience of the much hyped Lady Gaga special.

I am intrigued by this:

Just five years ago, Lady Gaga exploded on the scene with her debut album, “The Fame.” She had an invented backstory as an art-school freak (in reality, she was a rich private-school graduate from the Upper West Side)
I’m not surprised that the biography was created out of whole cloth. That is just part of the star-making machinery in a decadent age. Rather, I’m intrigued about the journalistic decision-making that turns hype into “buzz.”

When does the crusty editor tell the reporter to confirm the facts in the PR handout? And when do they just decide to run the legend and promote the story the PR people created?

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