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The Cold Filtered Ramblings of Gene Mueller

Jumbo Shrimp=Celebrity Journalism

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        Wonder why the tabloids do so well, selling us every bit of smut/dirt/crud they can about the celebs we love to worship and tear down?

        I think I just figured it out: there's no longer a journalistic middle-ground.

        It appears there is no longer a chance of sitting down with a star of any magnitude without promising that the writer in question will drip nothing but sugary sap with what will come of their interview.         Read this take from the latest Slate to get a peek into how showbiz journalism has now become just another oxymoron, like "military intelligence."      Burned by enough bad experiences, the public relations folks now cut deals to make sure their clients get only positive light and air, objectivity be damned.

        It's not unusual for our radio network to give us a few "don't asks" when they offer up a celeb for a live satellite chat, and I know for a fact that the Hollywood junkets are about plugging the product, not about advancing the cause of our journalistic estate.     We get access.      The stars get favorable pub..     Everyone's happy, right?

       Not so much.

       The pendulum swings the other way when access is either denied or controlled.      Like water, an eager writer or photog will take the path of least resistance, talking to those who know the celeb best to get the "real" stories: the bad habits, the untoward relationships.       You won't allow me an interview and photo shoot with the star?     I'll just talk to his/her maid, and we'll top the story off with a picture of your client without makeup at the local Speedway.    

      Your choice now, as a consumer of celebrity news, is now black or white: the sanitized reality of the p-r hacks, or the tawdry world of the tabs where people talk for money and SOMETIMES tell the truth.


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