VMA-holes: Gawker Covers the MTV Video Music Awards

We were at the gym kind of late last night, running on the elliptical trainer and watching MTV on the personal TV, because THAT IS HOW WE ROLL. We were just in time to catch Beyonce's performance at the VMAs. Did you catch it? We will describe it for you: all these sirens go off because it is an emergency, a DANCE EMERGENCY, and then Beyonce is lowered to the stage? On a rope? With the most serious look on her face? But like, sexy-serious? Wearing a giant tan trench-coat? We actually laughed out loud and said "This is the most retarded thing we have ever seen" to no one in particular. It's shit like that that makes us stay away from shit like that, which is why we sent Gawker Correspondent Neel Shah to the actual proceedings, because THAT IS ALSO HOW WE ROLL.

We will be bringing you coverage of the Greatest Awards Show of All Time all day, but to kick things off Intern Neel gives his on-location report, after the jump.

We weren't exactly thrilled when we drew VMAs duty. These things seem like fun in principle, but are typically so mired in bureaucratic excess and attempts at precalculated "spontaneity" that they're never really worth the effort. And so we trekked up to Radio City Music Hall expecting to wage a losing battle on the throngs of screaming tweens and foreign reporters who think it's the highest of high comedy to ask Justin Timberlake where his Sexy went, and how he plans on getting it Back. Perhaps it was our low expectations, perhaps it was the fact that MTV's flaks and event coordinators were refreshingly competent, or perhaps it was the all the gratis liquor doled out in the makeshift green room, but we were pleasantly surprised: this shit was pretty entertaining. (Yes, we realize it's anathema to describe anything in a vaguely positive fashion on Gawker these days. Regularly-scheduled snarking will return in short time). To the gossip we go!

A few quick notes from the red carpet, where, with alcohol not yet a factor and an overabundance of client-sterilizing celebrity handlers, banality reigns supreme:

1) You could be a baby-raping terrorist and still meet unbridled enthusiasm if you walk down that thing. This is probably obvious even to those watching at home, but it's literally like the fucking janitor ambles by and you have to cover your ears to block out the unflagging, high-pitched shrieking. Just sayin'.

2) Bored and out of questions, we started asking random celebrities what they thought of Gawker. Their responses:

Pusha-T and Malice, Clipse: "What?"
Lil Wayne: "Huh?"
Wyclef Jean: "What?"
50 Cent: (no response)
Ludacris: "Shit, dog, I stopped readin' that after the Spiers regime." (Just kidding: "What?")

There you have it, folks: black people—still not reading Gawker.

3) Quote of the carpet goes to Whitney from The Hills (also, as is my journalistic imperative to report to you, Dear Reader, waaay hotter than co-star Lauren Conrad in person): when we asked what she learned about the magazine industry from her internship at Teen Vogue, she replied, "I learned that I don't actually want to work in magazines." Smarter than she looks, that one.

At 8:00pm sharp, we were whisked over to the green room that had been erected in the basement of Radio City, where a bevy of flatscreen TVs were airing a live feed of the show. A show of little interest to Johnny Knoxville, hunched in a corner, visibly intoxicated and swilling booze out of little liquor bottles he had on his person, open bar be damned. "Hey Johnny," we started. "Saw the preview of the Vice Guide to Travel DVD you're in. Looks cool."
Knoxville: "Huh?"
Us: "The Vice DVD that you did."
Knoxville: (slurred) "I don't know what I did.
Us: "Didn't you shoot some segments for some travel thing they're doing?"
Knoxville: (mumbles something incoherent about Nazi camps and Paraguay)
Us: "Cool. What you been doin tonight"
Knoxville: "Drinking."
Us: "Nice. What you up to later?"
Knoxville: "I'm just tryin' to have fun."
Us: "Good luck."

Over to Sarah Silverman, who gets all indignant and hits us in the shoulder when we mention we're from Gawker: "What the fuck! You guys wrote something about me, like, 'Sarah Silverman has her own dumpster or some shit." We did? "Yeah, it was you, wasn't it?" Umm, maybe? Don't think so, though. She contemplates this for a few moments. "Ahhh, fuck. It was Defamer. Sorry!" Haha. Bitch! Kidding. Jessica Simpson walks by. So, Sarah, what do you think of her and John Mayer? "You know, shockingly, unlike most other 35 year-old women on the edge of their seats over this, I haven't speculated much on the matter. Wasn't she dating Dane Cook?" Allegedly. Do you think he's actually funny? His show sort of sucks, no? "Um, no comment! Comedian's honor code."

Fair enough. Lucky for us, Girls Gone Wild meatstick Joe Francis wasn't nearly so tight-lipped. As we were milling about waiting for a lull in his conversation with Paris Hilton (who kept doing double-fisted shots of ice water at the bar. Bizzare.), Francis turned to us and introduced himself.
Us: "Nice meeting you. Mind if we ask a few questions, on the record?"
Francis: "No, no, not now."
Us: "Come on, dude! Just one! What'd you make of that L.A. Times profile of you a few weeks back?" Francis scrunches his brow, then breaks into a wide smile. "Here's the problem. If I had had sex with that reporter like she wanted to, it'd have all worked out for me. But I chose not to 'cause she's a fat ugly pig. So I made that decision." Oh, Joe. That vulgar mouth is so unbecoming! A simple "no comment" would have sufficed.

Other random tidbits, in no particular order, most of which are of dubious import: Jessica Simpson giving us the deathstare and putting her hand to her throat in a gesture intended to indicate her inability to verbally communicate (she has laryngitis, you see) when we asked her how John Mayer was. Nick Lachey being there when Simpson wasn't. Real World: Key West train wreck Paula, whose issues with alcohol abuse were widely documented on the show, making multiple trips to the bar. Laguna Beach and Hills star Lauren Conrad telling friends that she's planning on being single for a while, and that she had a "not good" run-in with ex-boyfriend Jason last night (who, for the record, wins "Douchebag of the Year" honors in a fucking landslide for making out with his platinum-blonde whore of a girlfriend on the red carpet). Paris and Nicole Richie not talking. Nicole Richie attempting to sign an autograph for a young fan, clicking the end of the pen furiously when it wouldn't dispense ink, shaking it vigorously when it still wouldn't dispense ink, then, after much confusion as to how to properly wield such a strange instrument, realizing she was holding the pen upside down. Johnny Knoxville attempting to affix a chain medallion necklace of some sort to the exposed genitalia of fellow Jackass Chris Pontius over by the bar. Our camera pic of said genitalia coming out really dark, probably for the best, due to the dim lighting.

11:30pm. Show winding down; only scattered Real World cast members left (evidently the dregs of the MTV talent pool.) Time to go file this puppy. Before we go, our favorite blind item, courtesy of a mildly intoxicated (but nonetheless reliable—in vino veritas etc etc) source:

"Which on-air personality has a penchant for sexually harassing interns? He took an intern he met at an MTV Beach House summer party out to lunch (expensed his meal, didn't buy hers), then invited her back to his office for some closed-door canoodling. Multiple failed makeout attempts later, he even promised to go visit her in college to seal the deal (she remained unconvinced). The intern declined to file charges to avoid unnecessary publicity, despite the fact that she wasn't his only victim."

(And no, it's not Gideon Yago)