Reuters and VNU presented a panel last night called "The Cult of Celebrity: Who's Using Whom," which featured Us princess Janice Min, medialand dark lord Michael Wolff, Hollywood Reporter columnist Anne Thompson, celebrated celebrity publicist Ken Sunshine, and, looking stunning, our better half. Fireworks were promised, and so was free booze.
Indeed, there was plenty of Sturm, lots of Drang, and enough alcohol to keep Kitty Dukakis out of the medicine cabinet. But, in truth, most of the fireworks were for show — Wolff and Min were in essentially perfect agreement, though Wolff still managed to continually offend Min. Everyone, in fact, basically agreed with one another: Celebrities and media feed off each other, and readers seem to enjoy it.
The one exception was publicist-to-the-stars Sunshine, who ably demonstrated why he's one of the world top flacks by pulling off the amazing feat of sounding totally reasonable while spouting utter nonsense. (There should be more comedic, satiric coverage of celebrities, he argued, as though he'd ever allow access to one of his clients for a satirist. Ben Affleck is the smartest and most politically involved celebrity I've ever met, said the guy who also reps Barbra. Also: Streisand leads a very normal life.)
There was more, we're quite sure, but charmingly Amazonian non-publicist Sophie Brendel, who put the event together for Reuters, pushes drinks like Brooke Shields pushes psychotropic meds, and we've barely been able to type today, let alone recall too much of what happened. We'd suggest you go read Fishbowl's 8,000-word, three-part report, but apparently they decided not to do one this time. Alas.