Gossip Constipation

Gossip makes it big in the New York Times today, with some classic quotes from the Post’s Ben Bradlee. The article, focusing on NY Post’s Liz Smith, examines the challenges facing the tabloid industry as it seeks to compete with the unsubstantiated rumors of “blogs” on the “InterWeb.”

In it outgoing Reliable Source Richard Leiby expresses some frustration with writing a gossip column at the otherwise hard-nosed for news Post, and Bradlee weighs in with some historical perspective:

“We’ve had more bloody trouble with gossip columns,” Mr. Bradlee said. “We deep down in our little constipated souls don’t believe in gossip columns.”

He said that articles in the 1960’s and 1970’s by Maxine Cheshire, The Post’s long-time society writer, required his endless attention as an editor. “I spent more time with Max than I spent with Woodward and Bernstein,” he said.

Speaking of gossip, there are all sorts of rumors swirling about the future of the Reliable Source column — ranging from having Anne Schroeder take the helm full-time to her co-writing with Washington Whispers writer Paul Bedard to having Lois Romano or Ann Gerhart step back up to the plate. DCRTV has been promoting a new theory almost every day. The latest? Lloyd Grove will come back from the Big Apple.

We hear everything is up in the air and that all of the rumors are just that (although the Lloyd Grove report is “truly absurd” sezs one in-the-know) — however there’s a widespread consensus building that Schroeder has very nice shoulders.