This week, The Hollywood Reporter has been posting a series of articles about Gossip and its value. Yes. Value. That was the subject of my TED Talk a few years ago. And over at THR, Michael Wolff addressed the significance of gossip in a piece called The Gossip Revolution, examining the effects of good gossip and bad gossip. Wolff posits that when gossip is done well, it “bridges the space between public illusion and private reality; its news value, and frisson, is in the deconstruction of hypocrisy, targeting the sweet spot in public consciousness — that widespread belief that the real story is never told, that no one is who they say they are (unless, of course, like Trump and the retinue of reality stars, you stand proud and naked, ridiculous and moronic, before the gossip press)”.
The deconstruction of hypocrisy. In Hollywood, hypocrisy is basically the password to fame. Maybe it’s not just in Hollywood though. You could also apply that to how we live on social media – behind filters and curated “candid” experiences. Celebrities pretend to hate the gossip. That’s actually an incomplete statement. They hate the gossip… when it’s about them. Wait. That’s still incomplete. They hate the gossip…when it’s about them… and it’s negative. They love the gossip, negative and positive, about everyone else. And they insist on pretending that they could actually exist without it.
Interestingly enough, do you know how John F Kennedy Jr felt about gossip? Rosemarie Terenzio who started as his assistant and then became his press agent tells The Hollywood Reporter that he saw it as “part of culture, part of society”. Once again, this is JFK Jr, one of America’s most famous sons:
“John always saw gossip as part of culture, part of society. It was like the norm to him; he was born famous, and he didn't have a choice. It wasn't something that was taboo. It was just one of those things that was part of life. Part of media. And it's been around forever. Working for him at George, we were in the media. So he certainly read gossip, and we all read it, and he loved the New York Post. He didn't have that holier-than-thou kind of attitude about it at all.”
Terenzio also says that if he were around today, JFK Jr would have been great at social media, that he would have been great at trolling people. Which, um, makes me wonder whether or not he would appreciate the Kardashians.
Click here to read Michael Wolff’s post on The Gossip Revolution. Click here to read about how JFK Jr handled gossip. Click here to read about how one influential publicist advises his clients on gossip. From there, you can find more links to THR’s other articles this week about Gossip and its place right now.
Keep gossiping. And keep crusading for good gossip.
Have a great weekend!
Yours in gossip,