Friday, April 10, 2009

Gensler: "You Suck. I Read You Every Day."

WHAT DID YOU THINK of celebrity gossip writer Howard Gensler?

Here are a few things that stood out for me:

- Tommy Lee Jones dresses well but is kind of a jerk.
- Eva Mendes? Also kind of a jerk.
- Celebrities are public figures and publicity whores.
- It's not easy being a beat writer, even on pop culture stuff. It takes knowledge of trends and history to be good at the job.
- News is disposable.
- Gossip news is an enjoyable break between the news and sports. You don't have to take it that seriously.
- Publicity agents try to manipulate the media to make their clients look good.
- If you spite Howard, he may write awful things about you.
- Junkets tarnish the image of the media outlet.
- Howard loves Bennifer.
- And he thinks marijuana should be legalized.

What stood out for you?


Eileen McHugh said...

What really stood out to me is that he's trying to get out of his column...

Also, when he was telling us about complaints he got and how people started to lighten up after they realized he was also a human being was great.

He was really entertaining and interesting to listen to.

Michael Gaudini said...

He was definitely one of my favorite speakers we've heard this year -- he seemed like an earnest guy, and he really spoke to us on our level, which I appreciated. Which is not to say that the other speakers did not speak to us on our level. I guess I can describe it like this: the other speakers (I thought) talked to us as if we were peers, but with Mr. Gensler, I felt like he was talking to us as if we were buddies. I enjoyed how he leveled with us, and brought his sense of humor to the whole thing. Also, I noticed and really appreciated how whenever he would comment on journalism, he'd also bring up a specific example from his own personal experience. His visit made me actually want to read the Daily News gossip column just to see some things he's written.

-Michael Gaudini

Andrew Small said...

I liked Gensler's attitude toward celebrity journalism. His cynical attitude made his visit entertaining when I wasn't sure a "celebrity journalist" was something I would even care about.

I agree with his position on marijuana and I find it interesting that this has been such a popular topic recently, Joe Klein just wrote a column a few weeks ago about legalizing marijuana as a method for helping relieve some state budgets.

Gensler's run in with Kirstin Dunst made me wonder how journalists can be an independent monitor of power when they rely so much upon friendly relationships to get access to these people? This isn't just with celebrity journalism but all forms of journalism. Doesn't this cause journalists to have to self-censor so they don't offend their subject?

Stephanie Klock said...

It stood out to me that he didn't like his job but seemed stuck in it for some reason.

It also stuck out to me that he said he spend most of his time sifting through wire services for stories and putting his own twist on them.

Its a shame that the gossip section is probably not the only section sifting through wire services.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I felt pity for the guy. He doesn't necessarily like his job yet he's stuck in it. Then again, I thought he was kind of immature and rude about how decides on what to write about people. But I think that goes for most (not all because I can't say that for sure) gossip columnists.
I don't know, I just think the whole idea of fabricating rumors about people, especially those you don't know, is downright ridiculous. For example. the Bennifer story. Who was he to come off saying they weren't in a relationship and then continue bashing them after Ben Affleck called him out on it? What Gensler did was not at all funny, but absolutely stupid, for lack of a better word.

Alexandra Strockyj

Anonymous said...

I thought he was a little bit obnoxious at first, and I didn't like his attitude towards his job. But after thinking about it, I realized that it doesn't make sense to take a job that deals with gossip and celebrity "news" all that seriously. After thinking about it I realized his attitude seems perfect for his job. With that being said, he obviously does not like his job. He said himself that he's getting too old for job, they just cant find/ refuse to pay anyone else to do his job. He had a few funny moment, but he did not seem very mature or intelligent at time. BUT- he IS a gossip columnist.

Danielle Brown

Brittney Corridean said...

I think he makes sense, he seems laid back enough to not sweat the small stuff and serious enough to get his info. I think sometimes the media does take things too seriously and yeah news can be disposable. People have their own lives to live too.

Katie Killian said...

I really liked Howard Gensler. I found him down-to-earth, and an expert when it came to celebrity gossip. I would probably love to have his job, based on the aspect of meeting celebrities alone. Although he does not necesssarily enjoy writing the celebrity gossip section, I found it interesting that for the sake of journalism, he would still do so.

Anonymous said...

He seemed to hate his job... Working on a gossip column for so many years must suck, but wasn't the point of his speech to get us to like journalism? I thought it was funny that he talked about how he'd like to leave the column but still knew more about celebrity gossip than anyone I know.

- Jess Dunford