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Posted at 10:45 AM ET, 09/25/2006

Comment Box: Me, I Like Rumors

By Liz Kelly

"Liz, I appreciate the postings you put up and read them religiously, however, can you please stop posting "news" from Entertainmentwise, Starpulse and Femalefirst? It just seems that those 3 sources make bogus claims that never come true. Seriously, we should write down their claims and track them 3 months from now and see if there is any truth to them." -- Anonymous

Anon, thanks for weighing in on the content making up a portion of the morning round-up. I absolutely need feedback like this so I can make sure I'm delivering the best daily report I can to you each day. The last thing I want to do is make Celebritology readers the undependable source at the water cooler.

Still, I think there is a place for reports from less-than-confirmed and let me explain why: Often, the three outlets you mention above -- along with a few others -- are the first to break the buzzed-about rumors that, while usually pretty fantastical, do make waves based on sensationalism alone. I'm talking about stories like the current "Jacko Planning Leprechaun Theme Park" -- stuff that is either ultimately untrue or a big story spun out of a very small grain of truth -- usually an offhand, joking comment -- but gives us a chuckle nonetheless.

For this reason, I divide each day's news round-up -- the Morning Mix -- into at least two sections. The first, "Headlines," contains stories that are fully sourced and confirmed. The second section included each day is "Rumor Mill." As the name suggests, this is the place for those fantastical items -- like the Jacko theme park -- but also for the first wave of rumblings about some items that are later confirmed to contain at least a grain of truth. For instance, items like the name of the latest Federline (Sutton Pierce) and the budding relationship between Kate Hudson and Owen Wilson were first included in the Rumor Mill before gaining credibility and moving into the realm of actual news. Of course, just as many rumors turn out to be dead ends.

So, at least in my way of thinking, the Rumor Mill (and the sites I troll to fill it with items) serves a dual purpose: It gives us a place to indulge our fascination with some of the more ridiculous headlines, but also lets us keep a watchful eye on simmering stories that may erupt into a boil at any moment.

Okay, "erupt into a boil" is grossing me out.

---

I knew when I posted about Maxim's list of "10 Least Appealing Women on TV" that debate would ensue. I was surprised, though, at the level of vicious "observations" lobbed across the gender divide in the very active comments thread. A sampling of the good, bad and decidedly ugly:

"Maxim is undoubtedly looking for some exposure on Saturday Night Live's news update." -- Carol

"The publicity is useful. It tells us women: if you see that a guy subscribes to Maxim, you know his head is still in high school, and he is hiding his "trembling manhood" (thanks, New Haven CT) behind the bold and smart move of joking about a scar or other petty aspect of appearance. He will crumble at the first physical imperfection, yours or his. Check the manhood thing." -- Moxie

"Maybe I spent too much time in the desert, but I'll take Tina Fey over a Jessica Simpson anyday. I guess I am not intimidated by intelligent women like Maxim readers. But then again, I do not live in my Mother's basement like they do either." -- Iraqi Vet

"I live in D.C. and have to deal with these educated, snooty liberal feminists all the time (esp. when in college). They are very transparent and I can guarantee all the ones mouthing off in this comments section secretly want a drunken, arrogant man as opposed to some sensitive weakling they all profess to dream about. You're a bunch of clowns and need to get over yourselves." -- Phil Blunt

"I think the whole point of the piece has nothing to do with physical beauty. It says 'least appealing' not least hot. I think they are saying these are attractive women, too bad they are just damn annoying." -- Robbie

Robbie, several commenters raised this point. But, if that's the case, why describe Pam Grier's figure -- a physical attribute -- as "keg-like?"

By Liz Kelly  | September 25, 2006; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Comment Box  
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