DealBreaker, first with a John Weisenthal "Opening Bell" spot and then via its indespensible, daily Reader's Digest DealBook feature (thanks to John Carney who also has the good taste to link to me on occasion), that points us via witty link titled "Bono = Corporate Tool" to a DealBook entry, which then channels a David Carr missive that puff-pieces Elevation Partners (a.k.a. Bono's Press Release and Private Equity Playground, LLC) while purporting to cover that firm's acquisition of a minority stake in Forbes Magazine parent Forbes Media. Harder to find a better example for my "Bono" catagory.
Selective reading is required to give you the real story though, which, when seasoned with my gratuitous speculation and a garnish of Hollywood hypocracy, is actually pretty juicy. To wit:
This is the third deal for the fund, after investments in a video gaming partnership and a real estate Web business.
No one in the group has any significant experience in print properties....
Forbes’s competitors have significant corporate backing — Fortune is owned by Time Warner, BusinessWeek by McGraw-Hill, and Condé Nast will soon introduce a magazine to be called Portfolio.
For the last 25 years, Bono has stayed atop a fickle business by embracing the latest technology in order to build global reach, constantly renewing the creative product and engaging in public stewardship along the way, including work on trade issues and global poverty.
(Read: Debt Forgiveness).
Mr. McNamee said the stake in Forbes did not necessarily clash with his politics and his rhetoric, saying, “The way you solve poverty is giving people the tools to overcome it.” Bono could not be reached for comment.
"Bono could not be reached for comment." Bono? Could not be reached for comment? Are you kidding me? Attempting to separate that guy from a microphone is akin to a demonstration of the nuclear residual strong force. One wonders if the honeymoon with private equity is actually over for Bono and, having already extracted value from his brand- as evidenced by the fact that every acquisition Elevation makes, no matter how silly, will result in a shower of "Bono buys Greenland ice cube producer" press releases- the other partners have now taken over the reigns. "Thanks, we'll take it from here. Loved your Chicago show. Call me for squash next week." I just can't see Bo"world economic forum"no voting "yes" in an investment committee meeting on "Project Flat-Tax-Magazine."
...Steve Forbes, whose hobbies run more toward flat-tax advocacy, said that “One” is his favorite U2 song. It begins somewhat portentously with a plaintive pair of questions: “Is it getting better, or do you feel the same? Will it make it easier on you, now you got someone to blame?”
...Mr. McNamee said that Elevation — the word is a U2 song, the name of one of its tours and an equity fund — was Bono’s idea.
Steve Forbes: “This is a natural step for the company with right people. Forbes as always been about entrepreneurial capitalists.”
So remind me why Bono is involved again?
From where I stand
I can see through you
From where youre sitting, pretty one
I know it got to you
I see the stars in your eyes
You want the truth, but you need the lies....