Fraud or legitimate pundit... Taylor Marsh biography... Who in the hell is this woman and what does it mean?(NOTE: The saga continues)
(NOTE: Additional information available at this update)
(NOTE: I've also read and reviewed her book)
(NOTE: Find out about the Taylor Marsh cartoons here!)
A few days ago, I read a confused and silly piece at The Huffington Post by Taylor Marsh.
Taylor Marsh. She's all over the place these days, it seems. She's shown up on TV shows. She's a regular contributor at HuffPo. I see links to her blogs all over the place. I don't think you can call Taylor Marsh one of the great opinion shapers of our time, but she's definitely making an impact in certain circles.
She seems to have a lot of oomph among Hillary supporters. Her blog offers a daily dose of crazed Obama bashing and gets hundreds of comments from Clinton true believers who echo her sentiments as if they were gospel. Compared to little ol' John Brown, Taylor Marsh is BIG TIME.
I've been wondering. Who in the hell IS Taylor Marsh. I decided to find out. Strangely, this talk radio host and published author doesn't have a Wikipedia entry. Although I found several people wondering who she was, I found no bio outside of the one she's provided at HuffPo and the one on her own website. I figured it was time for someone to find out something more than that about Taylor Marsh and/or to collect available information in one place.
I'll be honest with you, though. I wasn't motivated by pure curiosity. I had an ax to grind. Day after day, I find the ramblings of Taylor Marsh and the ass-kissing dittoes of her Hillary-backing fan club more and more irritating. Her remarks are, in my estimation, another sympton of Hillary-induced soul cancer. I think Taylor Marsh sucks.
Thus, I was sort of hoping to find out that Ms. Marsh is a completely unqualified, unimportant, silly hack who just happened to fall into an audience because she decided to pledge an undying allegiance to The Monster during a contentious primary process. Hey, like I said, I had an ax to grind.
Guess what? I did discover that Taylor Marsh fails to meet the Pundit Worthy of Attention Threshhold. She is a wee hack with an audience. She does suck--at least on some level. However, she's also interesting. Believe it or not, I now have an admittedly bizarre newfound respect for her.
The Taylor Marsh story has two parts. First, it cautions us to remember that having a slick blog and a knack for PR doesn't make someone smart, qualified, or credible. Second, it teaches us that anyone can command an audience for his or her opinions. The Taylor Marsh story is about fame for the foolish, attention for the mediocre, and how a kid from Missouri can somehow grow up to be an oft-cited resource among those with an interest in serious matters--even if she might not have any business sharing the stage with serious people.
The Taylor Marsh story is at the intersection of Horatio Alger and Clifford Irving.
It starts with Michelle Marshall.
Michelle Marshall was a Missouri girl from a conservative family who entered beauty pageants to earn money for college. She ended up winning the Miss Missouri title in 1974. Even though she didn't take home the big Miss America tiara in Atlantic City, pageant circuit winnings helped her pay her way to Stephens College. Stephens is an all-female college in Columbia, Missouri. Michelle Marshall graduated, receiving a BFA.
She left Columbia (and if you've ever been there, you'd appreciate the decision) and went to New York. Her good looks, grace and talent landed her on a few Broadway stages. For whatever reason, Michelle's Broadway career was brief.
That's where Michelle Marshall vanishes. We don't hear from her again. Michelle Marshall becomes Taylor Marsh.
TAYLOR MARSH IN LA...
Michelle Marshall/Taylor Marsh went to Los Angeles. She found herself acting as a "relationship consultant" for the LA Weekly, a free alternative newspaper. Maybe. Sort of. She claims that experience today, but the details are cloudy. An interview with Marsh indicates that she wrote more political pieces. Marsh herself says she wrote relationship columns, but tried to sneak politics into them until someone in the editorial department made her stop. The interesting part of that comment is that Marsh said her future columns ran with an announcement of ADVERTISEMENT above them. Usually, if your colum is labeled an "advertisement" it's because it's not really a column at all. It's an ad.
Who was running the ad? Who was paying her to write the ad? Was it really an LA Weekly article and they just randomly slapped "advertisement" on top of it? I have no freaking clue. I'm a blogger in Kansas. I'm not Mike Wallace. What I do know is that Judith Proffer (Jablonski) was one of the publishers of LA Weekly. I also know that Proffer would later become a Marsh ally when Taylor decided she should be a radio host. I also believe that Proffer's role at the LA Weekly was concentrated on advertising issues