Sunday, March 22, 2009

Being Liz Smith, The Queen of Gossip

When I lived in New York the book, Natural Blonde, came out by the iconic gossip columnist of the New York Post, Liz Smith. I was so impressed with the book's tone and clear voice that I popped Smith a note. To my complete surprise she answered the note and we had several exchanges thereafter. We had hoped to meet for lunch but her schedule and mine did not afford this opportunity. I was soon off for Australia for nearly a year.

In a recent interview in "Newsweek" Liz Smith, this 86 year respected columinst and AIDS charity fundraiser, tells of her firing from the New York Post without an offer of a buyout. Instead, the Post told her to "get out." Reading this gave me further reason for disgust of this paper. The Sean Delonas cartoon depicting the murder of the President did not endear me to the Post either. When I lived in New York I never read the New York Post and will most certainly not subscribe or read it now for sure.

This Queen of Gossip is from the old school. There is fairness and intrigue in her writing, an ethical journalistic voice that many newspapers and magazines, entertainment ones or not, do not have. Liz Smith now writes for Wowowow. I shall read her there. Here's some of the "Newsweek" interview above:

How did you feel about those outlets that announced information prematurely?

These rushes to judgment are typical when people are so desperate for the latest news. People abandon their journalistic standards of being sure. We all have to be more careful.

Has celebrity culture changed?

Our economic problems have forced us to concentrate on important things. I hope we've given up our demonic interest in people emerging from Starbucks with their coffee and they're supposed to be famous and they're not. Fame to me is somebody with some worth.

Is Paris Hilton famous?

She's definitely known. And I liked her hamburger commercial. But I don't think she's a talented person.

Bravissima, Liz Smith! You're awesome at 86!

And you look marvelous!


Brosreview said...

She is quite certain of her words and brutally honest, isn't she? I like it; sorry, make that I love it.
Each of her lines seem like a quote to me!!! Thanks for sharing this!!!

judith ellis said...

Pleasure, Brosreview. Yes, she is grand indeed and "brutally honest." But she is NEVER mean-spirited or crass.