DISH by Jeannette Walls


The Inside Story on the World of Gossip
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A cable TV gossip spills the beans about a lot, if not all, the tricks of her feline trade and, naturally, delivers plenty of old

and new dirt along with it.

Clever reporter Walls fuses the story of tawdry practices by the personality industry with some prime gossip. The Hollywood

flaks, the tabloid snoops, the retailers of the lubricious detritus of the news, and the researchers of the wanton behavior of famous

folk are investigated in this study of an especially lively branch of journalism. Walls's study, perforce, often includes titillating

tales of celebs and those who celebrate them. The sexual proclivities of Matt Drudge, Mike Wallace's acne scars, and Tina

Brown's healthy bosom are all looked into in a text that sort of frowns on the excesses of commercial voyeurism. It's an old-

fashioned sideshow, high-spirited, mean-spirited, and plenty of guilty fun. Harking back to Walter Winchell, Hedda Hopper, and

Louella Parsons, Walls’s report on the tattle-tale industry includes the scoop on People, The Enquirer, Confidential, 60 Minutes,

and the inevitable infection of the mainstream press. Players include all the old favorites: Liz Taylor, Tom Cruise, Michael

Jackson, the Donald, O.J., and, of course, the late Princess Di, the late Marilyn, and the late (discounting hearsay) Elvis, among

others. Roy Cohn appears throughout, as do various Kennedys. Only Fatty Arbuckle seems to be neglected. Among the less

surprising revelations: Checkbook journalism is widely practiced, even by the most respected newsfolk; people known for being

famous use the press for their own purposes; celebrities hire private eyes to nail enemies; wayward stars aren't capable of remorse

(only anger). Shocking Revelations! Surprising Buzz About Media Buzzards!

Here is a Janus-faced muckraker, one side telling how ink is spilled on keyhole revelations, the other offering some fun in

a naughty mudbath. Snoopy scatoscopy at its juiciest.

Pub Date: March 7th, 2000
ISBN: 0-380-97821-0
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Avon/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2000


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