The Los Angeles Times, June 2, 2004

    A Potter of Gold for Those Who Think Big

    By Bruce Kluger and David Slavin

    As faithful as the changing of the equinoxes,
    Warner Bros. will once again go into
    overdrive this week to promote Harry Potter
    and the Prisoner of Azkaban, its newest big-
    screen adaptation of J.K. Rowling's mind-
    bendingly popular children's books. As
    always, publishers, TV programmers and
    entrepreneurs across the country will try to
    co-opt the Potter craze, hoping to siphon off
    riches of their own.

    Which media outlet will come up with the most
    lucrative way to latch on to Pottermania? Let
    the games begin:

    Monday: After four hours of strategizing ways to participate in the Potter rage,
    executives at ABC-TV/Disney/Miramax are shocked to discover they do not own the
    rights to the Potter books and never will. Undaunted, the company immediately re-
    releases three dozen classic films under new titles (e.g., Dirty Harry Potter, Harry
    Potter and Tonto, When Harry Potter Met Sally, etc.). "This is what we do best,"
    explains a company spokesman. "Who needs Harry Potter when you have Harvey

    Tuesday: Pugnacious talk-show host Sean Hannity debates the hot- button issues
    underlying the Potter trend with columnists E.J. Dionne and Ann Coulter. As Dionne
    defends Potter's right to a gay marriagethis despite the boy's British citizenship
    and the fact that he's not homosexualCoulter challenges the accuracy of the
    books' depiction of magic and sorcery. "This movie isn't about real witchcraft,"
    barks Coulter. "Trust me. I know a thing or two about witches."

    Wednesday: Keeping with tradition, Playboy founder Hugh M. Hefner contacts
    Rowling, offering her $1 million to appear in his magazine naked, posed atop a
    broomstick. When Rowling refuses, an unbowed Hefner announces that Playboy will
    publish a nude pictorial of Joni Lovewell, a Borders employee from Dubuque who
    "once sold 15 Harry Potter books in one day" and enjoys long walks on the beach.

    Thursday: The Cartoon Network announces it will produce an animated version of
    a classic '70s sitcom, now adapted to the Rowling oeuvre. Welcome Back, Potter
    transports the old gang from the blacktops of James Buchanan High School to the
    campus of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where the beloved
    "Sweathog-warts" engage in hilarious hexes and high jinks. Original cast member
    John Travolta agrees to lend his voice to the series, provided that Hogwarts
    supplements its courses with seminars in Scientology.

    Friday: In a stroke of marketing genius, founder Jeff Bezos acquires
    worldwide rights to the popular line of Chia Pet products and begins selling them
    online under a new name: Hairy Pottery.