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Gossip sites -- We review Ted Casablanca's The Awful Truth, Jeannette Walls Delivers the Scoop, Amy Reiter's Nothing Personal, and Fox411 by Roger Friedman

Gossip sites

It happens: you’re at a dinner party, dazzlingly debating bioremediation’s role in the future of refuse disposal and Vidkun Quisling’s true legacy for today’s Norwegians, when — bam! — it becomes obvious to all that you don’t know a thing about Jennifer Lopez’s hindquarters. You’ve neglected to analyze the Helen Hunt-Hank Azaria split, too, haven’t you? And where, where does Sarah Michelle Gellar get her shoes? As fortune would have it, these answers are but a few you’ll find at fab-u-lous and/or smarmy Net gossip sites. As the philosopher Francis Bacon once said, ”Knowledge is power.” In this case, of an insipid sort.

TED CASABLANCA’S THE AWFUL TRUTH www.eonline.com
Ted is like your most catty, nosy best friend — if said best friend posed elaborate theories on Angelina Jolie’s most private (read: most private) tattoos and were prone to exclamations like ”That’s downright kank-kee!” The gossip in this gaspy, gushy E! Online weekly column is of the most virulent, subjective variety — hooray! Ted takes sides (just ask Gwyneth Paltrow, a.k.a. ”Fish Stick”). A warning: You’ll get a shocking amount of information. Only the creepiest part of us wants to know what body part Lara Flynn Boyle (allegedly) bleaches. Intrigued? Sure you are, sicko. A

JEANNETTE WALLS DELIVERS THE SCOOP www.msnbc.com
Tucked deep down in the MSNBC site like some embarrassing great-aunt (”Jeannette Walls, uh, sounds familiar. Maybe that guy in HR hired her. The one who went mad,” you can almost hear the Serious Newsfolk grimace), Walls isn’t given enough rope to hang anyone with. Recent ”scoop”: Benjamin Bratt wants to spend more time with his folks. ”[He’s] said to come from a very close-knit family.” Guess no flack would comment on that bombshell. Note to MSNBC: You have a gossip column. Commit. D+

AMY REITER’S NOTHING PERSONAL www.salon.com
The Salon columnist doesn’t offer much gossip of her own, but she does just fine assembling a ragbag of goodies from other sources. She then adds her own snide spin (recent headline: ”Pamela Anderson Actually a Dumb Blond”). Still, smart asides aside, one senses Reiter’s heart isn’t really in slopping the latest celeb droppings. She — like the site — probably has better things to do. C+

FOX411 BY ROGER FRIEDMAN www.foxnews.com
Friedman’s is a great spot to get some dish if you’re the type who calls your soft-core porn ”erotic drama.” Those who must keep up appearances will be well served with this daily Fox news site column, which combines smart tidbits, like future story arcs of The Sopranos, with well-placed jabs — like implying Sharon Stone adopted a child for attention. Still, who wants a gossipmonger whose tongue isn’t slightly forked? (Sources couldn’t confirm that any of the aforementioned columnists are indeed consorts of the dee-vil.) B+