NY Mirror

In other sexual entertainment news, I was just interviewed for a documentary about the notorious PARIS HILTON that promises to be her Truth or Dare, maybe even with the same Chihuahua. It's backed by Warner Bros. and authorized by Paris (who's fully cooperating), but it looks to be balanced, and she even curses in it! That one will never be bound and gagged.


STERN UND DRANG

Last week, I ungagged myself to give commentary on a TV news show—no, not about how BRITNEY and her baby are now both brain dead. It was about—what else?—the JARED PAUL STERNscandal, which I said will have to prompt a purge "for there to be a light at the end of the tunnel and everyone to be able to dish more ethically." "Did you just hear him say 'dish more ethically'?" the anchor remarked, smirking, before her co-stars erupted into giggles. (And then they went on to a really urgent story about TomKat's "silent birth.")

Hey, freaks, why is the prospect of ethical dishing such a joke? Has gossip become such a cesspool of conflicts that the Stern hoo-ha is just the tip of the insidious iceberg? Don't answer that! Believe me, I know the industry I'm part of is partly a subtly tangled mess of paybacks and backstabbing. But I don't think it's that laughable to say that this particular situation can be used to help flush out the bad stuff and emerge with (free-food-filled) heads held high. We columnists can do so in the following ways:

(1) Never think a publicist is your friend. They're actually the enemy. We strive for truth, they usually aim to subvert it. (2) Still, let's call for the other side of the story. Even if flacks are generally paid to lie, let's try to include their BS in the item just for equality's sake. (3) Fuck favors. When I hear someone say "I need you to do me a favor," I turn into NAOMI CAMPBELL. (Of course, if I want to call a plug about myself into a column, I'm still allowed to do so, in my most tremulous, pleading tones.) (4) Don't dis blogs as inaccurate when your own column (or tabloid) happens to be more fictional than a Bush war excuse or an OPRAH book of the month. (5) Please realize that anonymous or unnamed sources generally have an agenda. I knew that when I quoted that person about QTN, but I put it in anyway because I have an agenda too. (And the source isn't anonymous to me.) (6) Go ahead, go on junkets and free tastings if you're hungry and they're approved by your paper. Just trash them in print afterward. That's what I do, belch. (7) Quit with the endless plugs for that Italian guy's restaurant and that horrorhouse publicist. You may have inked a deal with the devil stating you will gush about them through eternity, but readers signed on to no such agreement. (8) The rival dailies that have reveled in this story so gleefully should probably step back for a little self-reflection. In the Daily News' case, their biggest scoop ever only happened because of the Post! And in the Times, all the articles on Stern's fuckup are second only in length to their corrections page. Wow, that was cathartic. Cigarette?


WEB EXTRA

Late Breaking Paris Hilton Setback!

Exclusive Gossip: Is it hard out here for an heiress? PARIS HILTON had a long-anticipated CD scheduled to come out in June. Out magazine recently sent me to L.A. to interview the multi-media personality about her music, which I heard and thought was perfectly enjoyable dance-pop, as helmed by wunderkind SCOTT STORCH. But a source tells me that Warner Brothers chairman/CEO TOM WHALLEY might not feel the same way. They say he doesn't think it's ready—in fact, he doesn't care for it at all—and he's putting the project on hold for now. (I'm hearing it'll probably be released in September.) At least this should provide some juicy conflict for The Simple Life. (I'm awaiting a response from a Warner Brothers publicist.)


musto@villagevoice.com

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