Dumenco's Nightmare Comes True: What Bonnie Said at Columbia

You might recall that Ad Age's Media Guy, Simon Dumenco, had his Calvin Kleins in a twist Monday about a speech — or, as he'd probably prefer, an abomination of a speech — Bonnie Fuller recently delivered to Columbia Journalism School students last month. Fretted Simon, with his own extensive capitalization:

[Fuller] was invited to Columbia's Graduate School of JOURNALISM by the Columbia chapter of the Society of Professional JOURNALISTS (SPJ). To speak about ... JOURNALISM.

What the $#*&$)*@???

Can't we just admit, finally, once and for all, that Bonnie Fuller certainly does something compelling and entertaining, but it is not, for the most part, journalism?

We imagine we'd be fully prepared to stipulate that, especially if it'd help delightful Dumenco get control of his caps-lock key. But, as a Columbia spy reports, it seems Bon-Bon herself won't necessarily play along. Our helpful j-schooler says in an email, recapping the Jan. 24 event:

I tell my friends what [Fuller] said that night, but they consistently refuse to believe me: She claimed that her stories are legitimate and multi-sourced, and some of the "scoops" she gets, like the next day's Angelina cover, are obtained by sending out stringers to stalk celebrities, taking copious notes about their activities, and drawing conclusions from there. For instance, when they reported on Jen and Brad's estrangement ("We were the first!"), it was a "scoop" because they were the only ones to stake out the two of them and write about how they were never together. So they drew a conclusion from there. Brilliant.

Wait, is stalking-copious notes-drawing conclusions not what they're typically teaching up in Morningside Heights these days? How quaint.

The full report is after the jump.

Yep, I was there.

Bonnie came to see us replete with the rock on her finger, assistant and son in tow, who she embarrassed by pointing out in front of everyone. She seemed disappointed that only 20 people showed up (it wasn't even held in an auditorium, it was in a 6th floor classroom). She brought a billboard-sized print of the next day's Star cover (with Angelina on the cover, of course, with that story about how she was overheard telling that director she'll never marry Brad).

Bonnie took us on a tour of her journalism career, from the backwoods of Canada to the front seat of the NY fashion rag industry to her current position as tabloid femme. She was somewhere in the 1980s when the SPJ rep from the speaker's committee came over and whispered to Bonnie that she should hurry up. Bonnie seemed like she was trying to cover up being pissed about that, but she had asked the rep to stop her if she went on too long, so she shouldn't have been mad.

I tell my friends what she said that night, but they consistently refuse to believe me: She claimed that her stories are legitimate and multi-sourced, and some of the "scoops" she gets, like the next day's Angelina cover, are obtained by sending out stringers to stalkcelebrities, taking copious notes about their activities, and drawing conclusions from there. For instance, when they reported on Jen and Brad's estrangement ("We were the first!"), it was a "scoop" because they were the only ones to stake out the two of them and write about how they were never together. So they drew a conclusion from there. Brilliant. So when the rest of the world was reporting their break-up, Star had already moved on to the Brad and Angelina affair. I mean really, can a cancer cure be far behind?

But the best — THE BEST — was when Bonnie told us what she does with famous people's assistants and friends and the like when they call and give them a big scoop.

She POLYGRAPHS THEM.


Check out the budget on Star!

SHOCKER: OPRAH PREGNANT WITH JAMES FREY'S BABY! [Ad Age]