Angelina Jolie’s masterful manipulation of her public image?

November 21, 2008

(ChattahBox) — The NY Times has a great story about Angelina Jolie’s carefully orchestrated image, which I think many are sort of aware of.  What’s interesting is that she seems to have a knack for pulling the strings all by herself. While all celebrities seek to manipulate their public images to one degree or another, Jolie accomplishes it without leaning on a publicist or an agent. The keys to her public image reportedly belongs to her alone, although she does rely on her longtime manager, Geyer Kosinski, as a conduit.

Bonnie Fuller, the former editor of Us Weekly and Star magazines says:

“She’s scary smart. But smart only takes you so far. She also has an amazing knack, perhaps more than any other star, for knowing how to shape a public image.”

Jolie expertly cultivates relationships with friendly reporters and even sets up her own photo shoots for the paparazzi. Most skillfully, she dictates terms to celebrity magazines involving their coverage of her and her family, editors say, creating an awkward situation for publications that try to abide by strict journalistic standards.

Contrast that with Jennifer Lopez, who sold pictures of her twins to People for an estimated $6 million in February, but has a team of eight to help her navigate such situations. Jolie on the other hand, used her cellphone, a lawyer and Mr. Kosinski (and, of course, the counsel of her partner, Brad Pitt) to negotiate with People and other celebrity magazines this summer for photos of their newborn twins and an interview. Jolie was supposedly even seeking more than the estimated $14 million they received from the deal but no one would say she did badly. They also supposedly negotiated a hefty slice of journalistic input — a promise that the winning magazine’s coverage would be positive, not merely in that instance but into the future, as part of the deal.

The winner with the deep pockets was People. The resulting package in its Aug. 18 issue — the magazine’s best-selling in seven years — was a publicity coup for Jolie. In the People interview, there was no use of the word “Brangelina,” the tabloid amalgamation of their names, which irks the couple but plenty of positive questions about her and Pitt’s charity work.  Likely future stories on “Brangelina,” will be People friendly in the future?

Through a spokeswoman, People magazine, which is owned by Time Inc., released a statement denying that any conditions were placed on coverage. “These claims are categorically false,” the statement said. “Like any news organization, People does purchase photos, but the magazine does not determine editorial content based on the demands of outside parties.”

Well I am inclined not to buy that denial, but in the otherhand People Magazine is such a wet noodle in how they report celebrity news, it wasn’t exactly like they would have asked tough questions anyway.

Another interesting facet of this story is how Jolie maneuvers the media to distract and shift the focus. An example used is when she became romantically involved with Pitt. Faced a public relations crisis as being portrayed in the tabloid press as a predator who stole Brad from his wife, Jennifer Aniston, Jolie used her charity work to help turn the story. Jolie appeared in Pakistan, where she visited camps housing Afghan refugees, and even met with President Pervez Musharraf. Ms. Jolie and Mr. Pitt made a subsequent trip to Kashmir to bring attention to earthquake victims. Said Michael Levine, a celebrity publicist and author:

“Presto, they come out looking like serious people who have transformed a silly press obsession into a sincere attempt to help the needy.”

Granted the story is pretty cynical but it confirms some of my suspicions about Jolie’s manipulative side and the journalistic lack of integrity surrounding a lot of celebrity reporting.  Take a look at the entire article here.

Reported by: Hot Momma Celebrity Gossip


One Response to “Angelina Jolie’s masterful manipulation of her public image?”

  1. ebmo on November 21st, 2008 3:38 pm

    What star does NOT manipulate their public image?
    They either do it themselves or their managers do it.
    It has been that way since there were stars.
    It is only because it is Angelina Jolie that is mentioned that it is supposedly a newsworthy event.

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