Gossip: Moral Qualms Edition

Seems gossip is everywhere. We’ve been party to it ourselves, way back, before we got paid to do it, and after. We called it sieving, but only when it was responsible. Today, kids, we’re up against a moral wall. There’s a blind item over at our still-not-responding-to-our-softball-request counterparts at The Gutter, and we just have to reproduce it for our own solipsistic pleasure. We know the answer, and as the Times pointed out on Monday, sometimes just knowing isn’t enough — you have to share.

Knowing that your boss is cheating on his wife, or that a sister-in-law has a drinking problem or a rival has benefited from a secret trust fund may be enormously important, and in many cases change a person’s behavior for the better.

“We all know people who are not calibrated to the social world at all, who if they participated in gossip sessions would learn a whole lot of stuff they need to know and can’t learn anywhere else, like how reliable people are, how trustworthy,” said Sarah Wert, a psychologist at Yale. “Not participating in gossip at some level can be unhealthy, and abnormal.”

We can’t full-on sieve this one, but look out. The hints are uber alles.

What G.O.M. of the profession, then living out of a trailer adjacent to a certain name-brand project, once asked a junior female member of his staff to deliver a package to him chez trailer. In the middle of the day. She rang. He answered. Naked. She fled. We hear it happened more than once.

The answer is eating us alive. Please, help us absolve.