Eyeballs bulged through the industry the other day when gossip grand dame Liz Smith wasn’t renewed by the New York Post as a result of the horrid economic crunch. Liz has been a biggie for decades, but is it possible that she partly became victimized by her own niceness? A rah-rah supporter of celebrities and someone who admittedly doesn’t really care for gossip, Liz could be counted on to speak for the stars (and their publicists) and to promote events, projects, and power brokers while traveling in their circles. We had our disagreements through the years–in the old days, I’d criticize her for keeping up the celebrity closet, including with herself–but I was always amazed by her positivity and the fact that while many of us like to bring celebs down a notch when they deserve it, she often loved to restore them to their thrones.
The thing is, once the Internet rose as a communications venue and anonymous people in the dark found a forum for their rage, snark became the prevalent force in gossip and the white-gloves approach garnered less appreciation. Is it passe to be a nice gossip columnist? If so, then I’m fine!
PS: Liz is far from over anyway. Her column is still syndicated, runs on WowOwow, and in Variety, and she has all sorts of other projects lined up. I should be a busy now as she is at 86.