Saturday, July 24, 2010

Why do the British press keep on getting burned by Hollywood?

Once again a British tabloid, in this case the News of The World, has to pay some American movie stars, in this case Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, a lot of money for falsely claiming that their marriage is at an end. You wonder why British hacks in Covent Garden or Wapping persist in pretending that they know what's going on with the domestic circumstances of faraway film actors who spend most of their time behind an expensive wall of PR deceit. These people's lives are so unusual and so completely consumed by their careers that it's possible that even they don't know how they stand, let alone some hack Googling away in London whose knowledge of Hollywood is limited to reading the odd feature in Empire.

Nonetheless every week our news stands groan with magazines claiming to know what Jen said to Brad this week. They can't have a clue. Think about it. If they did know what happened behind closed doors in Hollywood on Thursday night then they would have a highly-placed mole who would be looking for an Andrew Morton-style book deal. If they're just resorting to the same old scuttlebutt as everyone else they may as well be reading Perez Hilton. What eats away at the print media is the conviction that if they keep on speculating about a celebrity marriage then experience suggests that one of these days they'll be right. But guessing may be becoming a prohibitively expensive business.


  1. I can't say that I've ever given it much thought. Having said that, you could argue that many many marriages (celebrity and non) are hanging by a thread. The red tops obviously think that if they put enough bait on the water they're sure to get a bite.

  2. Problem (with magazines,anyway) is that the sleb weeklies think that there are only half a dozen celebrities who will sell as cover stars, and the staff have to come up with something - anything - on Angelina/Kylie/Jennifer/Cheryl/Kerry/Jordan. This is where the useful phrase 'a friend said...' comes in,isn't it? I interviewed Kerry Katona for five minutes, once; at a push that describes me as a 'friend', and consequently able to comment on La Katona's latest antics.

    Incidentally, I read the Angelina Jolie interview in the latest issue of Vanity Fair, and thought it was the most turgid, fawning, say-nothing piece I'd ever read. It made me yearn for the days when editors said 'This is rubbish, they're not saying anything, so we're not running it'. Hard to do that when a sexy cover image of an international megastar is vital in selling the mag, and what they actually say inside counts for very little.

  3. It amazes me that putting this stuff on covers must sell more copies or else they would not do it. Never underestimate... etc - who would be in the media business these days?