Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Dish:: How Gossip Became the News and the News Became Just Another Show
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on April 18, 2000
I'm not sure what I expected from this book when I picked it up. With Princess Grace on the cover (it doesn't talk about her at all) and a chapter about Diana, I guess I thought it would be about how great women took the hounding by the media. Well, it sort of is. But mostly it's about the gossip reporters, and about how the news industry, over the last few decades, slowly but solidly lost its integrity and turned toward sleaze for ratings and "scoops." Fascinating stuff! It doesn't so much repeat the gossip as it does tell how reporters get their story and what they do with it. I couldn't put this book down, except that every once in a while the sleaze factor was so great, I had to go and bathe just to feel clean again. There were parts I didn't really find captivating, but others where I laughed out loud, mostly at someone's arrogance. There's something in here for everybody. Easy to read, well written. I wanted more!
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on January 30, 2001
If you have any fascination with gossip/celebrities or how the "media machine" works, this is a great book. It is very fast pace, tracing the history of gossip columns from the early "penny papers" through Walter Winchell, Louella Parsons, the ET tonight type programming, and Matt Drudge. Lots of interesting tidbits about celebrities that I never knew, plus lots of information on how exactly the "publicity people" in Hollywood earn their keep. Who gets access to stars, why, and the hoops they jump through to keep it. I have to admit, it made me wonder about my own character (why am I so interested in what perfect strangers are up to) but then again, it is all in fun. A fun, quick read, with lots of historical information and background.
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on April 10, 2000
Dish was an incredibly entertaining book that read like a thriller of the gossip industry - - I don't think I put the book down more than two or three times. I was fascinated by the history of the world of gossip that the author traces from Confidential to the Enquirer to the birth of tabloid television. Interspersed throughout the book, the author manages to skillfully "drop" gossip of her own about celebrities, past and present, adding an "up to the minute" feeling to the book. If you're a media junkie, it's a must read!
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on March 8, 2000
At first glance I thought Ms Walls was going to tell me more about gossip than I really needed to know. After reading DISH, I was impressed by how well she kept my attention to the whole topic because she actually writes as a serious journalist giving the history of a form that is a well established part of our culture. The book is entertaining and informative and moves as a very rapid pace. I think it will delight all those readers who followed the news of previous celebrity watchers. It is well researched and written in a story fashion that does not lag. I couldn't put it down
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on August 15, 2010
Ms. Walls obviously did a lot of research for this book. It is well written, easy to read and a real eye-opener. The book follows the development of information published in newspapers and on television from the early days of Hollywood.

The biggest shocker in here for me was the revelations about how 60 Minutes operates. I grew up watching 60 minutes and believing in their stories whole heartedly. Well, the integrity level is not quite where I thought is was.

I don't avidly follow celebrity news, but since reading this book, I view it with a very different outlook and spend time considering who may actually be doing what to whom. (Or should it be to who?) When the recent Tiger Woods bru-ha-ha hit the news, it left me with some questions. The first one being - why now? Obviously this has been going on for a long time, why are the media reporting it NOW? Why not several years ago? Tiger must of ticked off the wrong media person.

For a great read, some interesting tidbits on past celebrities, and some insight into how the news is selected for reporting I strongly recommend this book. I also recommend Ms. Walls story of her childhood, The Glass Castle. A gripping story, sometimes I had to put it down for a while because I wasn't sure I was strong enough for what was coming next. At the beginning of the book I had to keep reminding myself that is was not fiction but a true story.
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on June 11, 2000
I enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone interested in learning how the line between journalism and gossip has been forever blurred. But Walls--or her editor--glaringly mis-identifies some major players by name. For example, she calls former NBC news president Reuven Frank "Frank Reuven" and refers to Brown and Williamson scientist-whistleblower Jeffrey Wiegand as "Jeffrey Wigland." These mistakes are repeated in the book's index as well, along with some others. Somehow, I can't bring myself to give this more than 3 stars because the author's own errors in accuracy erode some of her credibility for me. Too bad, because otherwise, the book is exhaustively researched.
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on January 14, 2010
I found "Dish" to be extremely interesting. Not only does the book give an in depth account of the rise and fall and then the resurrection of the gossip column and the tabloid, but it also paints a fascinating picture of how the media, and the "news" became what it is today. While this book was written in 2000, it is still timely, as it clearly depicts the changes in the media industry that have led us to the point where White House party crashers can become celebrities rather than inmates, and reality tv can supplant both creative and truly newsworthy programming.
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on March 13, 2000
A very good history on the convergence of gossip with poltics, entertainment and the media (television and magazines). However for recent events in the 1990's, Ms. Walls simply re-cycles old "Gossip."
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on March 29, 2000
As a teen I was more interested in naming the husbands of Elizabeth Taylor than the same number of past vice presidential candidates. I eagerly awaited the next copy of Modern Screen magazine and devoured the stories as if they had been revealed to me personally. Later I lost the keen edge to celebrity watching but from reading Ms. Walls book , I have discovered that it can be a latent characteristic. As a house guest, I picked up a borrowed copy and found that Jeanette Walls has more insights than Hedda had hats. The literary form and writing were better than I expected and it is nice to know that in fact , I did not out grow my thirst for gossip afterall. Ms. Walls writes intelligently and the book is obviously well researched. I say, "Well done, Ms. Walls. I enjoyed the adventure of reading your book. Thanks for the ride."
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on May 7, 2012
I've loved Jeannette Walls's books, "The Glass Castle" and "Half-Broke Horses" so I bought this one.
It's simply another of the gossip rags that she exposes in her book. I found it so distasteful I had to put it down.
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