'Access Hollywood' Acts Holier Than Thou

February 25th, 2009 4:28 PM

“Access Hollywood,” NBC’s nightly entertainment show, reports salacious celebrity gossip as “news.” It gets ratings and ad dollars for dishing about sex, drugs, violence, rehab and any other misbehavior by people in the public eye. But when it comes to the mother of the octuplets, well, Access Hollywood is suddenly above reporting that story.

Entertainment reporter Billy Bush told viewers on the February 24 broadcast that Access Hollywood would no longer report on the octo-mom Here is what Bush said in the last seconds of the show:

“Before we go, let me tell you why going forward we are not going to cover the octo-mom: it’s gross. Now when Ann Curry interviewed her for NBC News, there were legitimate questions that needed to be asked like, “With 6 kids, 3 of them disabled, why did you even try to have one more?” We’re way past that now. Now some of our illustrious media are showcasing smack downs and face-offs with Nadya and her mom while denying that they have paid her big money to do this. If they have, its just short term money in her hands. If octo-mom makes news with a movie of the week or reality show, heaven forbid, we might just have to report it. We will not reward it.”

This little speech came just moments after the show aired footage of Lindsay Lohan’s latest lovers’ quarrel with girlfriend Samantha Ronson.

“Lindsay was crying and arguing with Samantha Ronson when the pair arrived home,” Bush reported along with footage of Lohan visibly upset inside an SUV. Co-host Shaun Robinson chimed in saying, “Once the couple was inside, loud wailing could be heard.” At least lesbian love spats are awarded coverage.

Many would argue the bodily functions of Rosie O’Donnell are also “gross,” but ‘Access’ didn’t mind sharing that “news” with viewers. O’Donnell gave excruciating detail on her experience of menopause.

“And I would literally stand naked in the winter on my balcony,” O’Donnell said in an interview with Tyra Banks. “I would be in the bed and I’d wake up and the sheets would be soaking wet, not damp, soaking wet. Then I’m like, Kelly is incontinent, you know? And then I realized no, it’s me.”


To be clear, the octo-mom story is sordid and tragic, and deciding not to report it is understandable – perhaps laudable. But Access Hollywood’s moral preening about this is, well, gross.