When I hear the words celebrity gossip, images of flimsy tabloid magazines up by the register at the grocery store with sensationalist headlines come to mind as do their online counterparts, which today seem to feature too-personal photos of our favorite celebs with words like “wow” and “shocking” splattered across the front. I truly hate the words celebrity gossip. I like celebrity news and I like celebrity interviews, but celebrity gossip? Nope. Unless of course, I loosen up my definition of the word gossip. But how can I, when the very definition of gossip means details that are not confirmed as being true?
Today, with so much information out there, a great deal of which is not based on research or facts, we have to be careful when we use the term celebrity gossip and what we mean by it. At PROOFwithJill Stanley we don’t cover celebrity gossip if by gossip we mean unsubstantiated stories. But if by saying celebrity gossip, we mean we enjoy discussing interesting tales of a celebrity’s life backed up by truth than I can live with that. I can relax a little and not recoil when I hear the words celebrity gossip when it’s connected with PROOF. I have definitely noticed that when people ask if I write about celebrity gossip I get defensive. Is it warranted? Maybe I’m stuck on my high horse; I’m too sensitive. Let me think about that for a bit. Hmmm. Nah. I like my position and PROOF’s position on celebrity gossip: we don’t engage in it. And the truth is, I don’t think most people want trashy gossip and when those people say they’re interested in celebrity gossip, they mean they are really interested in juicy, interesting tales of a celebrity’s life but juicy, truthful tales. I don’t think people want fake news about celebs. We’ve all had enough of alterative facts by now. No one wants to be the one who shares something on social media or talks a big game with friends and coworkers about our favorite athletes or celebrities only to learn that the information we were so sure about was ultimately not even true. It’s way more fun to know stuff and be right about it! It doesn’t feel good when our credibility is questioned or when our viewpoints and opinions are not taken seriously. To really be listened to, to be retweeted and shared, the information, the celebrity gossip (or gossip about anyone) has to be correct.
But why this obsession with celebrity gossip? Why does celebrity gossip interest so many of us? Part of it is simply that being up on the latest information about our favorite celebrities gives us something to talk about with others, as touched on a bit in the preceding paragraph. But to go further with that, it means that we can be social and connect with others. Connecting with others is an important, basic human need (At a later time we can debate whether social means in person interaction or can be just digital interaction). So, if you’re one of those who needs a good reason to rationalize your celebrity gossip habit, I just gave you one! But, keep in mind this type of talk is best when the celebrity gossip is true. When you can say to a friend with certainty that Pharrell got slapped with a multi million dollar verdict for copying a Marvin Gaye song it feels much better, if the journalist or blogger who relayed that information, made sure it was right before releasing it into the public domain. That information is even better if that journalist is a lawyer who can tell you what that big verdict actually means. That is why when you get your truth based celebrity gossip from PROOFwithJillStanley you can rest assured that what you’re reading is, in fact, true. PROOF has a stringent commitment to research and analysis that is based on fact and supportable, legal findings.
But certainly there’s more to our deep interest in celebrity news than impressing our friends and coworkers with our celebrity current events knowledge. And that other reason is that talking about celebrity gossip provides us with an escape from our own lives. Reading about the designer dress Nicole Kidman wore, or the five star vacation Madonna took, or Kanye’s garage full of luxury cars is way more exciting than anything in our own dreary, routine-laden lives. It is that type of celebrity gossip that is harmless. With celebrity gossip about hair styles and outfits and makeup and hotels, it’s not the end of the world if the information is a little off every now and then—as long as there’s no damage from the false reporting and as long as this false reporting isn’t repeated. Innocent mistake. Four Seasons reference instead of Ritz Carlton? No big deal (unless your Ritz Carlton and you want that celebrity connection and shout out!). Catch instead of Craig’s for JLo’s dinner out in LA? Again, no harm really. But if that celebrity gossip centers around who was at that hotel or that restaurant and with whom then the stakes get higher—especially if those celebs are alleged to be with people other than their spouses or significant others. And what if that celebrity gossip is about failed marriages or bitter custody battles or illness? As mentioned earlier, that’s when we all have to be more strict with ourselves. That’s when we have to hold journalists, writers and bloggers to higher standards. We need to demand that celebrity gossip is backed up by substantiated facts. If it’s a legal matter that’s the focus od the celebrity gossip that’s when court documents need to be accessed and reviewed and interviews with witnesses or lawyers should be conducted. That is what separates PROOFwithJillStanley from most celebrity gossip sites.
Because what we talk about at PROOFwithJillStanley is celebrities and the law, there is no place for baseless gossip or unconfirmed stories. When we share celebrity gossip it is done with the utmost attention to the truth because at the end of the day, despite what’s on the outside, despite the vast money, power and fame celebrities seem to have, they are people. People who suffer losses, experience trauma and have very bad days just like the rest of us. Not one of us would want vicious, incorrect information shared about us and that’s why PROOFwithJillStanley does not spread untrue celebrity gossip. Never have. Never will.