I happened to be busy in the kitchen when one of the nightly celebrity gossip shows came on my local television. With my hands in soap suds, I listened to what I normally turn off. It was a litany of who is divorcing whom, who beat up an ex-boyfriend, who’s cheating, who’s worth this many millions and how settlements might be confrontational.
We, the American television public, are the supporters of gossip and television programs that are the purveyors of gossip. Why do we watch these kind of shows? This stuff if pure voyeurism. It’s peeping Tom stuff. It’s none of our business.
Gossip columns have been of interest since the early days of tabloid newspapers, but television has taken it to an obnoxious level since the newspaper days of Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper.
I remember gossip columnists in New York City writing about me when I was a nightly local newscaster. Some wrote about what I did or did not do. How much money I allegedly made and what restaurants I visited. Other than spelling my first name correctly, mostly they were wrong. I had one columnist call me one day to say he was going to write that I dined at a specific restaurant, was that OK with me. I said, no, and he was angry.
Frankly I think it’s time the American viewing public censor their appetite for the private crap in other people’s lives.