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The Great LA Gossip Famine

My lifelong ambition– being alluded to in the New York Times Style section– has been realized. (Seriously, I’ve pitched myself as a subject for ‘A Night Out With…’ twenty-eight times. If they don’t call back soon, I’m giving up.) In a round-up of the state of gossip journalism in LA, James Verini writes:

In January Mediabistro, based in Manhattan, created FishbowlLA to cover Los Angeles media gossip, no small task in a town with only one major newspaper and few magazines.

(Most of the article is about some website called defiler.com or something.)

Verini omits what I think is the real reason there is not much of a local LA gossip scene: Everyone Here Takes Themselves Very, Very Seriously. In New York, the gossip mini-industry exists thanks to an implicit social contract by which media figures and other bold-face names agree that in return for public exposure (and its attendant social, emotional, and financial quasi-benefits), they will be made fun of a little, and moreover, that they will like it. Not so in Los Angeles, where everyone is So Desperate To Be Taken Seriously that they Forget To Laugh At Themselves, and are much quicker than New Yorkers to Fly Off The Handle when someone Points Out Their Foibles.

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