Page Six Six Six

Britney Spears: Not a big Page Six fan.If you pay any attention to celebrities, you know of the New York Post’s Page Six. The powerful gossip page is so ubiquitous that even if you’ve never read it, you’ve seen pieces its reporters have written repeated all over the media.

Page Six is a fixture in the modern day obsession with the rich and famous, holding it’s own against glossy magazines and the rise of the gossip blogs. Celebrities are lauded and (more often) pillaged, where they were and with whom splashed across acres of newsprint. Those who indulge in the salacious articles enter a world of beautiful people they can only dream about and smirk at when they fall.

The Globe and Mail’s Simon Houpt refers to gossip journalism as “a sort of contemporary mythology using celebrities in the place of ancient gods, a series of morality plays that get to the deeper truth of our society.” The Greek gods were always very human even as they lived upon high on Olympus. They could be jealous, stupid and petty, but they were always, to use a modern term, glamorous. The gods reflected the best and worst of those that created them, the same role that is now performed by celebs.

And now it appears that one of our modern myth-makers was more interested in myth than truth. Page Six staffer Jared Paul Stern has been accused of trying to shake down billionaire investor Ron Burkle for $220,000 in return for a year's "protection" against false items in the gossip page. “In two secretly videotaped face-to-face meetings with Burkle last month, Stern outlined how ‘levels of Protection’ for subjects of Page Six coverage could be bought,” reported the Daily News.

The revelations have opened up a window into how gossip columnists operate. Publicists trying to get clients some ink and dishing the dirt to keep others out of the spotlight. Subjects became sources, all but guaranteeing themselves, if not favourable, at least lighter treatment. Freebies abound, from trips and hotels and other gifts, but in asking for money (and being filmed doing so) Stern went too far.

In true gossip fashion, Stern, who has been suspended, claims that he was set up and that Burkle approached him about payment for positive press. Who knows where the truth lies and it may not matter – it rarely does on the gossip pages.


  1. Awww, Man!

    If you can't trust the gossip-mongers, who can you trust? LOL

  2. What has our world come to? Next thing we know you'll be told not to believe everything you read. ;)