[Blind Gossip] Here is a discussion between two gossip columnists who wrote a blind item about a philandering movie producer, followed by the blind item itself.
From The New York Times:
When gossip columnists get a juicy tip but the sourcing is problematic, there’s a tradition called the blind item, in which the subjects are described in detail but not named. As in: What married media duo could not stop bickering during a two-and-a-half-hour interview with a reporter?
George Rush and Joanna Molloy have written a book drawing from their years of gossip columns for The Daily News and The New York Post.
That, at any rate, was what George Rush and Joanna Molloy were doing one day last week.
These cohabitants and co-authors of the Rush & Molloy column — which from 1995 to 2010 in The Daily News covered everything from the breakup of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman to the breakdown of Britney Spears — were sitting in their TriBeCa loft discussing an eyebrow-raising morsel in their new memoir, “Scandal: A Manual.”
It involved the alleged extramarital activities of a movie producer who is not named in the book, but who is described in some very specific (as well as borderline offensive) terms.
“That’s almost libelous,” said Ms. Molloy, who apparently hadn’t noticed the anecdote in a galley of the book, and was now giving her husband a cutting look.
“It could be more than one person,” Mr. Rush said. They mulled it over for a few minutes, going on and off the record the way people who are bilingual switch from English to their native tongue. At least, she said finally, the gossip item in question took place while the producer was with his last wife, not his current one.
And here is the blind item from the new Rush and Malloy book, Scandal: A Manual:
One producer kept a larder stocked with items he could trade in case you heard something bad about him or his movies.
And there were some bad things, such as the audio recording a foe had surreptitiously made of his bedroom performance. The producer even kept a former columnist on a $100,000 retainer to come up with trade-worthy items.
Sometimes we couldn’t resist giving the producer a little poke. His extramarital affair had become so flagrant that we ran a blind item about him nuzzling his mistress in a hotel pool. The producer saw the item and sent his staff to buy up every copy of the Daily News in the seaside town where his wife was on vacation.
His panic soared when a paparazzo offered us smoking-gun photos of the producer cavorting with his bikini-clad girlfriend in the surf. The producer took the pictures off the market, spending a small fortune.
He even hired his paparazzo tormentor to be an official photographer at his parties, insuring the pap’s long-term loyalty. Little did the producer know that Daily News editor Ed Kosner had already passed on the snaps, explaining, “Who wants to look at an old Jew in his bathing suit?”
Former wife (may or may not be famous):
Current Wife (may or may not be famous):
Mistress (may or may not be famous):
Former columnist on retainer (may or may not be famous):
Paparazzo he paid off/hired (may or may not be famous):