For several years beaters for Confidential have been trying to hustle L.A. newspapermen. With all the movie people and celebrities here, this is a fertile field.
I happen to know several who have been approached. They're competent reporters. They know where to look and how to go about digging up dirt--or legitimate material--and how to write it.
One was unemployed. Another was freelancing, a fancy term for being unemployed. A third was doing publicity, not too successfully. They all could have used the money, which was generous. But they all declined. It was not particularly a matter of ethics, an overused word, but just good sense.
To them, working for Confidential would have been accepting money for tainted writing. They are aware of the typographical leer, the distorted, slanted story and the slippery writing that are the stock in trade of the scandal magazines.
Unfortunately, others were not so scrupulous.
I always become irked when someone says recklessly of newspaper reporters, "Well what do you expect? They're just a bunch of trained seals. They write what they're told to write."
I don't think people half appreciate the care and objectivity that goes into news writing.