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19-07-2006
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Of course it's true! A celebrity said it!
I thought this was interesting and very appropriate for this thread!


Of course it's true! A celebrity said it
As stars swim in a sea of denials, who's a fan to trust?

COMMENTARY
By Paige Ferrari
MSNBC contributor
Updated: 10:21 a.m. PT July 17, 2006

I remember when Nick and Jessica were doing great. I remember when Angelina and Brad were just friends. I even remember when Mary-Kate Olsen ate like a lumberjack and baby Suri wasn’t a hastily constructed infant-bot purchased on the Samoan black market.

Yes, those were simpler days. A time when denials flew fast and loose, and good-hearted fans like me chose to believe. I remember racing home for my pre-primetime entertainment show fix, eager to hear soothing words like, “Robert Downey Jr. denies the charges.” Oh, Mary Hart, please tell me again that Kate Moss is high on life and life alone. Make me believe.

But now I’m fed up. I’m disillusioned by divorces, sick of plastic surgery denials that contradict the laws of physics. My patience has been strained by claims of “It’s just Red Bull!” and 24-year-old actresses who inexplicably drop 40 pounds of “baby fat.” I’m hungry for real answers. Where is Suri Cruise if she is, in fact, a flesh-and-blood baby? If there is no Suri, is it also possible that Britney’s marriage is not “awesome”? If K-Fed is on his way out, is it also possible that Star Jones might have had some medical help with her miraculous weight loss? If Star’s stomach is indeed the size of my thumb, is it also possible that David Gest is not the hot-blooded heterosexual he seems?

You see, I’ve often thought of Hollywood as a sweater. A chintzy, cheesy, heavily perfumed sweater bearing many stains of indeterminate origin. Pull one thread and the whole thing falls into a pile of stinky, used-up yarn. Yarn of deception, that is. For me, that sweater started to fray when Nick and Jessica split. Now when I hear some flack say, “My client will not dignify that with a response,” all I hear is: “The truth? You can’t handle the truth.”

To hear it from publicists and their well-scripted clients, Hollywood is boring. It’s a land of non-events, non-feuds, non-vices, non-issues. No one fakes pregnancies or breaks the law. Everyone has authentic body parts and remains good friends with their exes.

As a human being, I find this implausible. I live very far from Hollywood, with no access to beautiful people, large sums of money, fast cars, drugs or power, and I still know people who engage in all sorts of reprehensible and self-destructive behavior. Last weekend I engaged in three. I’m willing to accept a little spin-doctoring, but when denials heap upon denials and denials fly in the face of common sense, who is a fan to trust?

Enter the tabloids, the magazine equivalents of the brazen hussy women chain-smoking down on the dock (or outside your local IHOP, if you’re landlocked). You know the type. They lure you with claims of exclusive insight into secret pregnancies. They dangle rumors of marital strife. They titillate you with the promise of celebrity cellulite and Eva Longoria without makeup, all for the low price of $3.95. So, if you’re a voracious truth-seeker like me, you look left and right, slip an issue under some Rolaids and The Economist (if the cover topic features a mushroom cloud, or is otherwise weighty enough to counterbalance “Get Janet Jackson’s fab abs!”) and off you go. Real fans will take a dignity deduction if it means touching the face of pure truth, or at least something close to it.

Sure, the tabloids are suspect. The same people who brought you “Reese is pregnant!” downgraded their claim to “Reese is bloated!” at first sight of her fuming lawyers. Sure, the gossip rags’ journalistic principle of “If you predict everyone is pregnant and everyone is broken up then, statistically, you’re going to get a major scoop at least once” is not exactly Pulitzer-worthy. But in these days when even the New York Times has its share of scandals, who are we to split hairs over the occasional exaggeration?

Most important, unlike hired flacks who act coy, spit out terse disavowals or simply give the silent treatment to a nation crying out “Are those real?” the tabloids’ lies are always entertaining. Mama always said: If you’re going to have smoke blown up your, ahem, nose, make it colorful, candy-coated smoke that tickles the senses and makes you feel like you’re flying in a sea of super-secret insider knowledge.

They say it’s not the crime that gets you, but the cover-up. I say to the image consultants of Hollywood: It’s not just the cover-up that gets you, it’s the half-hearted cover-up that insults the intelligence of even unintelligent people. It’s the bizarre excuses made up en route to the press conference that make it seem like you’re not even trying anymore.

Take Miss Ashlee Simpson, for example. She’s been laughing off questions about her apparent nose job and offering coy “maybes.” Ashlee, no. You’re from the Simpson camp, and the Simpson camp can do better. If you’re not going to admit that your old nose sits in a jar in Dr. 90210’s office, at least pay me the small respect of spinning an outrageous tale. Chalk it up to 21 years of bad lighting, or even acid reflux. If I don’t hear it from you, I’ll have to hear it from US Weekly.

I remember an episode of the TV classic “Growing Pains,” in which Carol Seaver arrived home late for curfew. Her brother Mike, ever the rascal, schooled her in the art of the cover-up. His lesson: The best kind of fib is carefully crafted, pumped up with lots of artificial details. Whether truth is meant to be warped a tad or snapped like a twig, it's useful advice.

Using '90s sitcom wisdom as my guide, here are a few helpful pointers for flacks out there hoping to gloss over their clients' joking, smoking and midnight toking without sounding dubious:

Too vague: Lindsay Lohan telling me she dropped the weight through “old-school working out.”

Just right: Lindsay Lohan telling me that, on a recent trip to Mexico, she bought a Lifecycle, drank some smelly tap water, and subsequently — in a perfect storm for rapid weight loss — simultaneously acquired a new exercise routine and a rare breed of parasitic flat worm.

That's the level of detail I deserve for suffering through “Just My Luck.”

Too vague: Katie Holmes' bland assertion that “Suri’s doing great! ... She’s back at the house.”

Just right: Kate Holmes assuring the world that “Suri is currently napping in her 4-in-1 convertible crib, a small smile dancing across her innocent face as her father, who is Tom Cruise — and no one other than Tom Cruise — reads her a passage from Dianetics.”

See? Specific, but not too specific. Mike Seaver would approve.

Incidentally, this approach also allows you to dismiss skepticism about your client's personal lives while simultaneously sticking in product endorsements and plugs for personal religious beliefs. So, there you go, publicists of the world. Equivocation meets consumerism meets proselytism, and voila, synergy! Go forth and gloss like warrior poets. Do it like you don't need the money. If you must insult a nation's intelligence, at least do it with loads of heart and gusto. You don't even have to admit that you took tips from me.

Paige Ferrari is a freelance writer in New York City. She blogs at make-you-hmmm.blogspot.com.

source:
http://msnbc.msn.com/id/13863127/

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19-07-2006
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I read that this morning... I thought it was funny and true

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19-07-2006
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That was very entertaining...and so true. Thanks for the laugh cosmogrl.

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19-07-2006
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Quote:
They say it’s not the crime that gets you, but the cover-up. I say to the image consultants of Hollywood: It’s not just the cover-up that gets you, it’s the half-hearted cover-up that insults the intelligence of even unintelligent people. It’s the bizarre excuses made up en route to the press conference that make it seem like you’re not even trying anymore.
Very true. Some of these denials and excuses are too outrageous to believe.

Good article!

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19-07-2006
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Bravo!!!

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19-07-2006
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thanks for sharing!

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19-07-2006
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^ Sure! I am glad everyone liked it.

It has made me realize once and for all how much of a sucker I am for buying all these trashy magazines every Thursday (yep, Thursday is new magazine day!). This will save me a good 20 bucks a week.

Oh and the best part was that she actually quoted "Mike Seaver". Classic!

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19-07-2006
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time to ban tabloid magazines?

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19-07-2006
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartarse
time to ban tabloid magazines?
I am going to try, but it's gonna be tough. There must be some sort of treatment facility I can check myself into.

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19-07-2006
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Smartarse ^ Seriously!!!

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19-07-2006
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Honestly I have given up tabloid magazines and I feel so much better. It leaves me to read the Rumors thread here...but tis free. LOL I actually bought a newspaper the other day instead. I really don't care anymore it's the same old recycled crap over and over...just because someone has a bloated belly doesn't mean they must be with child...that one always pissed me off because gosh, I must have been 6th months pregnant for a good couple of years now....

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19-07-2006
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I get all my gossip fix from TFS and save myself $20 a week XD

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20-07-2006
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The women's bathhouse I frequent has them all--Star, Enquirer, Sun, Us, People--I wouldn't have believed Mary Dalyesque lesbians in lumberjack shirts had such a pressing need for celebrity gossip, oh but they do! You'd think there'd be all these sauna-steamed & sweat-wrinkled copies of Mother Jones and Off Our Backs in the magazine rack, and you'd be wrong. It is always deeply gratifying to know my Sisters understand what I really need--scandal rags about people whose product we so smugly do not consume. For we know we are better than them in our one-woman shows at Theatre Rhinocerous, a recurrent, touching coming-of-age story where we remember the abuse, the music that was playing in 1977, our favorite television show, our parents' divorce, the big move, the horrific dissociation which damned and saved us, the first time we realized we preferred that girl-smell, our eating disorder, and the abuse. Because we are authentic, and so is our Art. Unlike that Hollywood crap. O, Sisters!

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Last edited by mellowdrama; 20-07-2006 at 12:03 AM.
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20-07-2006
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Loved the article.

dlg

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20-07-2006
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This article is so perfect, thank you!

I've never bought a tabloid, or looked past the covers in the store, but I know it's only because I can get it all easy and free here on the net

Sometimes I'm ashamed, but it's a new hobby for me, and I don't really think about it except when I'm here, or on Lainey's site. If I start thinking about celeb gossip randomy though, I may have to quit cold turkey

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