Do you remember the fond old days when Hollywood gossip was relegated to The Enquirer? There you’d be in the checkout aisle, holding your half dozen eggs and your Kraft American slices with one hand, fingering the cover of a rag that read, BABY BORN WITHOUT HEAD! and perhaps a page or two in, you’d glance at SHELLEY LONG’S BOUT WITH MANIC-DEPRESSION… and all would seem right with the world.
When was “entertainment news” born? When did it become normal for network news to cover the stuff? When did Gather hire me to write it?
I’ll tell you one thing: Wikipedia has yet to have an entry for “entertainment news,” although the site directed me to the relevant links “breakfast television” and “infotainment,” both presenting the notions of “soft news”—a classification of “light” news on “less serious subjects” aimed mostly for “stay-at-home women.” Somehow in the past decade or so, this doggerel has managed to jettison from its rightful place between stories of half-wits and carnival freaks, and has landed on the solemn shores of everybody’s news sources.
But we must keep this in mind: just because it’s more accessible does not mean it’s more legitimate. We may think that because we get it from multiple sources, it must be somewhat substantiated. It’s just not true.
This is what I know: you’re lied to all the time. And you can’t even blame your entertainment news hound, because she’s lied to, too.
Do you remember when I faithfully reported, with much fanfare, that the stars of the new “Star Trek” movie had been announced as Matt Damon (Kirk), Adrien Brody (Spock) and Gary Sinise (Bones)? I had that scoop on good internet gossip authority! And yet, guess what? Lies! First came reports that Matt Damon announced he was “too old” to play Kirk. Now, word on the street is that English pop sensation Robbie Williams is in discussions with director J.J. Abrams to play Kirk, and that Zachary Quinto of “Heroes” has been cast to play Spock. What are they trying to do to me? Dear readers, may you never feel what I feel—the shame of being so discredited!
I can’t even trust my own reporting anymore. Sure, I know that Stephen Colbert recently broke his left wrist, and he suggested that he might have done it while racing around trying to drum up audience enthusiasm pre-show… but there’s no footage, so as far as I’m concerned: lies, all lies! He could’ve broken that wrist wind-surfing or trying to scale the walls of Pat O’Reilly’s compound! We don’t know!
You thought Bart Simpson was the ultimate bad boy, yes? That’s what I thought too. Lies, all lies! I found out his voice, actress Nancy Cartwright, is a big-time scientologist. She claims she initially joined the religion “to find a husband”, but she’s raising her kids with the stuff, so we have to assume she’s the real deal. Cartwright also runs a production company based on the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, is getting ready to marry her second scientologist, and says, “It’s a rough world out there. Scientology helped me both spiritually and as an artist.” Man, I’m having a cow over this! Bart, even you and your Xenu-battling ways can’t tell me to do otherwise!
Some people are mad at The New York Times for a little truth-manipulation of its own. Apparently, it used to be the case that there was no “rule” about which books could be on Times’ bestseller list, and now, apparently, no children’s books are allowed. Thus, the latest Harry Potter installment will not be on the bestseller list, despite everyone and his brother reading the thing, because it’s classified as a “children’s book.” What’s ironic here is that this rule only came into effect in 2000, after several Harry Potter books had already topped the chart. Hey, the Grey Lady got sick of being topped by kid-wizards. I know what she feels like. But all those grownup Harry Potter fans, particularly the rabid ones who credit Harry Potter with revitalizing the entire reading industry, are calling it an “injustice” that they can’t be proudly reading a New York Times bestseller anymore. Hey, folks, Darfur is an injustice. Relax and own up to the fact that you’re reading a kids’ book.
And so the lights get low in this middle-school dance we call the news, and Spandau Ballet begins its sweetest ballad. Ah-ah-ah-ah-AH-ah. I know this mu-uch is tru-ue.
We can’t count on much in the entertainment news world, but this tip’s gotta be real: I know it’s true that Rod Stewart has officially given Tommy Lee the go-ahead to date his daughter. The three met for lunch last week, at which point 62-year-old Rod gave the thumbs-up to 44-year-old Tommy concerning 27-year-old Kimberly. Apparently, Tommy had big plans for their first big date. He hired a helicopter to pick Kimberly up and take her to a concert, but unfortunately, Rod’s security didn’t feel right about letting a helicopter land on the rocker’s property when he wasn’t there. So Tommy had to fly to a nearby airport, where Kimberly, still overcome with the romance of the moment, agreed to meet him.
Reports say that the new couple was indeed in attendance at the concert, and despite a bumpy start, the date went very well.
At least there are still some things we can always count on. Now, can’t someone bring back those headless babies of yesteryear?