Monday, January 25, 2010

An Open Letter To Ted Casablanca...

Oh Ted. Dear Ted. Teddy Boy...

As Michael Mancini once pontificated: "Why do people gossip...? Why do they create vicious rumors that they then spread around with such enthusiasm? Because [they have] no life of [their] own, that's why."

You have started a lot of rumors in your career as an entertainment "journalist" at E!. Some of them have seemed to be all in good fun that just got out of hand due to the fact that your readers don't know how to take a joke and also it's hard to sense tone online. Others, though, seemed to be what you automatically reached to when it was a slow news days in other areas. Maybe it has even been a way for you to be creative in an often tedious world.

And believe me, I truly understand the latter! As someone who started out wanting to be a novelist and creating elaborate stories ranging from crime dramas to psychological thrillers to romantic comedies...well, let's just say I have plenty of material on which to draw. I can just throw in celebrity names where the characters I created once were and post it as "breaking news" and call it a day. But I have a sense of ethics. And I still respect those I write about (most of the time).

But as someone who has been scrapping the bottom of the barrel, begging and pleading for access to events and interviews (instead of simply pitching or the dream: being pitched to), I have to admit it severely pisses me off that you can get away with what you do and still walk away with a nice salary from a (cable, but it still counts) network with a column called "The Awful Truth." There are very few truthful things in it, I have found.

I'm not quite sure from where your fascination with claiming certain male celebrities are gay comes. Maybe it's wishful thinking; maybe you are hoping at least once you'll hit the nail on the head and convince someone the jig is up and he should just come out and be open and honest about who he is. The latter part of that I also somewhat understand. After all, in 2010 it's really sad that managers and producers are still convincing young talents they have to be straight in public if they want to play straight on screen.

But at the same time we as entertainment "journalists" have to draw a line somewhere. It's one thing to suspect someone is gay and another to know and yet even another to berate him into coming out through not-so-blind items. I can't, for the life of me, understand why the things you write do not give your network pause. You are nothing more than a glorified gossipmonger like the Queen of All Media (and what's worse you're second-rate at it, and you started first)!

Therefore, I'm willing to pay my dues. I'm willing to watch followers and Facebook fans trickle in a handful at a time. I'm willing to do all my own marketing and publicity. I'm willing to keep fighting for interviews and proving my questions are respectful and thoughtful and designed to deliver scoop on creative aspects of this industry and not the personal lives of those in it. Because I know the difference between fact and fiction, and I'm not going to blur that line when others' lives are at stake.

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