Sports Illustrated writer Selena Roberts has announced that she plans to follow her controversial biography of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez with a similar account on Gotham City superhero Batman. While on her whirlwind promotional tour, I caught up with Roberts, and we sat down to talk about her newest project:
MIKE ELTRINGHAM: So, your latest book absolutely slams Batman. Outs him as billionaire Bruce Wayne. Labels him as a narcissistic rule breaker. There is some really shocking and nasty stuff in here. I get the feeling that a lot of people are going to come away thinking much less of Batman.
SELENA ROBERTS: This is true. But, the public has the right to know. And biographies on superheroes have been around a lot longer than you or me, so this isn’t something new.
ME: What was the motivation for this expose?
SR: It was about time Batman got what was coming to him. It’s hard to watch a guy be so smug, and present this pristine image of himself to the press, and not want to take him down a peg. Batman has denied most of my charges, but I say let my work do the talking. Go talk to my sources. They lined up to dime on him: Robin, Batgirl, even Lucius Fox gave me a little something. And here’s a message for Batman: never question Selena Roberts’ journalistic integrity. Selena Roberts is a classy broad with journalistic integrity out the yin-yang. You don’t mind if I finish this bologna sandwich, do you?
ME: Go right ahead. Let’s go through some of the juicier tidbits of the book: you talk a lot about his illicit affair with Catwoman. Batman is well-known by the public for his crime-fighting, so why should anyone have the right, or even care, to know the details of his private life in such gross detail?
SR: If he didn’t want his private life out there for public consumption, don’t put on a mask and fight crime. God, the amount of integrity I have in this situation is starting to get me excited. When you put yourself out there, you give the media license to investigate every salacious nook and cranny of your life. If you didn’t want me to find that picture of you and Catwoman in bed, dressed like Popeye and Olive Oyl, you shouldn’t have put it in your garbage can.
ME: Wow. Okay. Anyway, in the book you accuse Batman of wrongdoing that the public has every right to call him on, seeing as it has to do with his crime fighting. You have a lengthy chapter detailing Batman’s illegal wiretapping procedures.
SR: That’s correct. I got him good on that one. I set up a tape recorder in the Bat Cave while he was meeting with his Bat-Attorney. I got the whole thing on tape!
ME: Oh….well, wouldn’t that conversation be confidential because of attorney-client privilege? In other words, while it may expose his wrongdoing, it’s something that no one had the legal right to know about anyway, therefore making its exposure to the public highly inappropriate. That may not excuse what he did, but doesn’t it make its exposure to the public dangerously unethical on your part?
ME: Yeah, wouldn’t you say that’s unethical?
SR: No, I’m asking you what that word means. Unethical?
ME: Unethical behavior would be any behavior that violates your code of ethics as a journalist.
SR: Huh? Ethics? Look buddy, you’re going to have to stop talking Portuguese and start talking English if you want to engage me on this topic. Someone with less integrity than me would walk out on you right now. God, it amazes me how much integrity I have. If you lined up all the American veterans of foreign wars, they wouldn’t possess a scintilla of the integrity I do. After this I’m going to the Vietnam Memorial in D.C. to tell people that to their faces, and hand out copies of my book.
ME: Okay, one more question. According to reports, the evidence you received regarding Batman’s wiretapping also implicated numerous others, including little known Gotham City police officer Wade Blumenthal.
SR: Okay….? Still waiting on your point here.
ME: My point is that the only reason anyone cares about Batman breaking the law is because he’s so good at fighting crime. If you took away the wiretapping, Batman would still be excellent at what he does, and that lowly Gotham cop would still be mediocre. Is it fair that Batman gets dragged through the mud, while other perpetrators get no attention, simply because Batman is much more proficient at his craft?
SR: The point is, people want to see Batman get embarrassed. Don’t knock me simply because there’s a market for embarrassing famous people. Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m just a vessel. It is the public’s God-given right to know everything in my book, and I am just doing my journalistic and civic duty by exposing all this. And boy, am I cashing in along the way.
You know, it’s taking all the integrity in my body right now not to slap you silly. I am literally shocked at the amount of integrity I have, which is more than I thought a human was capable of possessing. It’s giving me a real integrity chubby as we speak.
ME: You do look like you have a hell of a right hook. Might want to take a course in how to put on make-up though, based on that picture. Thanks for the interview, honey. Do you think the book is going to sell well?
SR: Do I think it’s going to sell well? Is the Pope Catholic? Were the Duke lacrosse players convicted of rape?
ME: Actually they weren’t.