Tuesday, July 19, 2005

on gossip + JOURNALism in the HUFFingtonPOST

PICTURED: Hedda Hopper: a gossip original, 1947

[OH, MISS RIGHT! and you's (sic-!) wonder why I blog!]

From Kevin Hassett--> Fri Jul 15,12:13 PM ET

Many years ago, when I was a very young pup, I was caught up in a mess of my own making that may be informative about the current Karl Rove situation. Folks who live outside Washington might learn a little about how our city works from the story.

Given the importance of Washington, outsiders probably have an unrealistic perspective on how large the city is. The fact is, Washington D.C. is a small town, and most everyone knows most everyone else. That person of the other party who you despise will someday be at your daughter’s birthday party.

One thing different about Washington is that it is chock full of journalists. [and wannabes. and posers. and armchair fox - watchers] These folks are not aggressive like the paparazzi. The best journalists are jovial men-about-town and professional gossips--[rove---rs]. They use their friends and contacts to assemble an amazingly accurate picture of what is going on.

Way back when, a couple of my journalist friends independently advised me of a negative story that was about to break about one of my friends in government (let's call her Miss Right). At some point, some other journalist friend asked me if I had heard the story, and I said that I had, but from other journalists.

A bit later I was, much to my surprise and embarrassment, confronted by Miss Right. She wanted to know why I was spreading bad rumors about her. I told her that I was not the source of them, but felt mortally embarrassed for even having been in the gossip chain.

If Karl Rove passed information that he received from one journalist on to another, he will have done something that happens a thousand times a day in Washington.

--"Worse than Hollywood!" -- Robert Evans
--"and so it goes." -- Linda Ellerbee
--"and thar it went." --Drunken cowboy