Friday, September 15, 2017

Will The FBI Bust Corrupt Book Publishing Executives?

“He’s the first persona that I met who was busted by the FBI,” said my 12-year-old son.

He was referring to the arrest of Craig Carton, a man who has teamed with Boomer Esiason to form the No. 1 sports morning radio show at WFAN in New York  for over a decade.  Carton, a resident of my town, New Rochelle, was indicted by the feds for running a Ponzi scheme involving concert and event tickets.  The proceeds of the sham business were-allegedly used to pay off as much as 5.6 million dollars in gambling debts.

The news was shocking.

My son and I met Carton around three years ago at an annual youth baseball awards dinner for a youth league where I coached and my kid played.  Carton was invited to speak and then he posed for photos with us and announced a donation to the league.  He seemed in person the way he does on air – funny, energetic, and loud.

We thought we were shaking hands with a pillar of the community and a wonderful radio personality.  But it turns out we were talking to a deeply flawed men with a gambling addiction that could lead to his career downfall and possibly some jail time.

Humans aren’t perfect and it’s not unusual to learn that a famous person, a hero, or a successful actor, athlete, businessman, or politician was leading a whole other life that contradicted the celebrity persona that we came to love.  But it's always amazing to learn of how such seemingly happy and wealthy people could really be living lives of desperation, pain, and angst.

Authors are far from being immune to this.  Many, many writers have been documented to be alcoholics, wife-beaters, and troubled souls.  Insanity afflicts the writer and grips his soul while possibly nurturing his creativity.  The more screwed up one is, the more inspiration for the writer, or so it seems.

But the public grows tired of seeing its leaders, models, mentors, and favorites fall to scandal, addiction, crime, or violence.  Carton will not be the last of his kind of go down in flames but he’s one of the more surprising ones.

Gambling, as sad as that is, is sadder when one loses millions of dollars that he earned -- andthen millions more that he didn't have. It is pathetic.  But at merely hurts himself.  When we get into true criminal activity that injures others, that’s where people will turn against him.  It’s one thing to misbehave – snort coke, cheat on your spouse, ignore your kids, gamble, etc.  It’s another to break the law repeatedly in a way that causes harm to many others.

There are many authors with checkered pasts and some lie about their back-grounds and life experiences.  They look to create a story about themselves that’s false, hoping to pass it along as true so it helps sell their books.  It’s as if they can’t draw a line between what they create on a page and what they say outside their book.

There could be a Carton-like scandal brewing in the book publishing world right now.  In fact, there has to be.  Tens of thousands work in the book industry.  Some editor, literary agent, or marketing executive is a degenerate gambler, sexual deviate, blackmailing loser, or corrupt piece of crap.  Either they haven’t been caught or their crimes have not been publicized.

Book publishing may not seem like other industries, but it’s a business like anything else. With money and power comes influence, corruption, and dirty little secrets that need protection.  

You would think for an industry that likes to sell books by tabloid exposes that there would be more stories coming out to expose what really goes on in the lives of those who keep the book industry flowing.

Perhaps my accusations are warrantless and the fact that no such story has come out in the 21st century is proof that the book world is clean.  I doubt it.  

Up until recently, Carton was a popular broadcaster and a community hero. Today he makes headlines for all of the wrong reasons.

“Do you think he’s guilty?” my son asked.

I couldn’t answer him, not because I don’t believe that Carton likely did something wrong, but because I wish we didn’t have to discuss it at all.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 

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