The Page Six Scandal Big in Canada

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How do we know Canadians are as hooked on the Jared Paul Stern thing as we are? Last night, this FishbowlNY editor appeared live on CBC’s THE HOUR with George Stroumboulopoulos to talk about the scandal. And this morning, we were asked to come on a CBC news program to talk Page Six, though we couldn’t make it.

Our HOUR spot followed an interview with Ben Harper, he of the Innocent Criminals — somewhat ironic given our segment’s subject matter. We’ll post the video when it’s available. But here’s what we said:

  • Yes, it’s as crazy as it seems.
  • While favors are paid and repaid in the land of gossip reporting, we’re not aware of another instance where that favor is $200,000.
  • This story is far from over, in light of the late afternoon revelation that the billionaire may be spinning the story through Page Six’s competitors while he can ‘cuz the Feds don’t have enough to prosecute.
  • What throws salt into the proverbial wound is the fact that Page Six can’t report on the juiciest media scandal in recent memory: Its own.

    Here’s what we didn’t get to say:

  • The idea of a celebrity of p.r. firm buying favor with a writer or publication is nothing new, and not exclusive to gossip. It just usually doesn’t involve money, at least directly.
  • Anecdote: While at sonicnet and MTV.com, a p.r. rep would invite you to, say, a private party with their client, a Brooklyn-based jazz band in their studio, to celebrate their album release. Wine and “cigars” would flow for hours. The band would play a set for 20 people, many of them writers. Now, how many of those writers would give that album a bad review? I know mine was somewhat more glowing than usual.
  • We’re surprised that Jared Paul Stern himself has been so accessible and willing to talk to the press since the story broke. Which, in a weird way, is making his side of the story more believable.