Drilling for Brange
As I noted on Twitter yesterday, the tabloid approach to a potential Brange split is like drilling for oil. They keep at it. Because if they do manage to find a new pool, it’s a limitless resource that will keep selling and selling and selling and selling. There are a few of you who complain about being bored on the Brange but, by and large, they remain the most compelling couple in Hollywood and proof of this is in the reaction.
The rumoured Brange breakup was top story all over yesterday, even though the source was a shady British tabloid, even though they’re supposedly over once a month, were supposedly over last year, even after the denials, your emails came pouring in, no headline was more important. This is the power of the Brange.
So what the what?
Let’s start with the source. The source for the split is Britain’s News of the World. They claim that the Brange hammered out a separation agreement with lawyers, signed early January. According to these alleged documents, Brad and Angelina will share custody of the kids but all 6 kids will live with Jolie. Then it’s a lot of speculation about her state of mind, something about her being violent and depressed and how HE has suffered and can’t wait to get out. Of course.
You will note however that the News of the World doesn’t have a great track record. It does however make a lot of money. And it uses a lot of this money for legal battles. News of the World has also on occasion straight up fabricated interviews like the one last summer with Debbie Rowe, Michael Jackson’s baby mother.
In other words, where accuracy is concerned, well, News of the World is about as slamdunk as Life & Style. And you ignore Life & Style most of the time, don’t you? Just because this publication comes from Engand doesn’t mean it’s any more reliable. But for 5 years the entire gossip universe has been waiting for the Brange to die. Which is why this weekend it hung its hopes on a fraud.
But it’s the salacious sh-t that spreads a wider ripple. So while you keep hearing over and over and over again that the two are through, you likely have not heard that People Magazine has been instructed by Team Brange to kill the break up report. Their insiders refute any claim of a split and say instead that the two are fine. Similarly, Us Weekly, less obsequious, is also reporting that the Brange is intact... for now. More significantly, TMZ.com, always up in everyone’s business, with less need to live inside celebrity sphincters, have spoken with their sources who confirm that the Brange is alive. And then there’s Roger Friedman. Friedman has clashed with the Brange before, specifically Jolie, calling her out on her militant control tactics during press junkets. Friedman was fired from Fox News last year for downloading Wolverine online after 20th Century Fox complained. In other words, he’s not the kind of journalist who feels the need to asskiss all the time.
Friedman was at Sundance this weekend with access to some of the Brange’s closest friends and posted this blog entry yesterday after speaking with an unnamed actor who many believe is Catherine Keener:
“Unfortunately (the break up report) doesn’t ring true. Anything’s possible, but just on Friday night a very good friend of the couple’s who’s here in Sundance was chatting with me off the record about them. She talked about how much in love they are, and how affectionate they are with each other when the cameras aren’t on them. This actress is a smart cookie, so if Pitt and Jolie are really splitsville, she’ll be just as surprised as anyone.”
Keener doesn’t need to famewhore. She doesn’t make a habit of it. She can also be a frosty bitch, I love her for it. Lying for the Brange, covering for the Jolie, these are not the kind of shenanigans she would tolerate.
The immediate cynic’s conclusion, and I don’t blame you, would be to say that yeah, behind the scenes, it’s final, it’s done, that’s it, and that now they’re just trying to make it so that the tabloids aren’t right and biding their time. Sure, it’s very possible. The point however is that they don’t want you to think it’s final and done. For the moment, they are driving to uphold their brand. Which means they want you to believe they are together, which means every move they make will enforce the notion that they are together, which means any reports that point to the contrary are irrelevant.
These two are manipulative and obsessively controlling. Especially HIM. And they’re not lazy. They’re not Tiger Woods. They are experienced. They lock their sh-t down tight. And for something like this, if they really are prepared to call it off, it would have been engineered and masterminded months ago. They would have had a game plan in mind to run the message the way they want to run the message. Just like Pitt made the announcement of his split from Jennifer Aniston strategically on a Friday afternoon, after everyone had gone home, while he was away on holiday, as the least opportune time for the media.
Look, I am always on the side of good juicy dirty smut. The uglier the better. I know you really, really want this to be true and I know some of you think I’m so pro-Brange I won’t be able to get it. My business is gossip. The Brange is good for business. If they are together it’s good business, if they are apart, as you’ve seen from even the mere suggestion of it this weekend, it’s probably even BETTER for business. So while I certainly do get moist for the Pitt Porn, it’s not like there’s a downside either way. Online gossip traffic would probably DOUBLE if and when they do come apart. But it has to be the right time and the right source. The origin of this report, from a nefarious tabloid, isn’t one I want to go All In on. I am waiting for the right hand. This is not the right hand. At best this is pocket 5s with 3 overcards on the flop at a full table. At BEST.
Photo from Wenn.com