As you know, I made the transition from my desk job (“working 9 to 5 just to stay alive,” to quote Beyoncé) to a more free-form Egg Timer Jobs schedule earlier this year. After the change, I had an epiphany about how I spend my time.
Statute of limitations is up on that last job, so I should admit – there were many hours where I trawled the Blind Items section of Crazy Days and Nights. Not merely the Solved section, mind you, where they tantalize you with supposed “reveals” of who’s secretly gay or who left her baggie of coke in a taxi. I used to trawl the rumor sections, where they said things like “This A-list TV-only actor with C-list name recognition …” without providing the names.
You – like my boyfriend – may laugh in my face for putting stock in such a site, but consider that I worked at Entertainment Tonight and one night, they had me man the news desk all by myself. (The place runs 24 hours; this was a horrid 11p-8a shift, but I was a lowly production assistant and a real gunner, so I screamed “Put me in, coach!” to the absolute alarm and suspicion of the woman who wandered down into the dank Paramount Studios tape vault one night seeking a substitute so she could go on an OKCupid date.)
I can’t speak to their practices now, but at the time, said OKCupid-eer instructed me to visit CDAN religiously during my night of coverage. She showed me, as though the site provided life itself, how I should refresh it, check it for alerts, etc. (Also: she wasn’t terribly bright and spoke to me as though I wasn’t either.) Nevertheless, it was eye-opening. I don’t doubt that the situation is similar across all kinds of purportedly reliable productions and publications. Yesterday’s yellow journalism is today’s shoe leather reporting.