Catfight, catfight! In one corner, local L.A. crackpot and fluff journalist extraordinaire, Patt Morrison. (See her interview a celebrity Beagle here.) In the other, doe-eyed indie nymph and elf-whisperer, Zooey Deschanel. Two enter! Both leave! We get something to talk about for five minutes!
The trouble began with an opinion piece by Morrison published Sunday on the LA Times website, which began with the restrained observation, "I can't believe Zooey Deschanel is really the snobby cow she came off sounding like Saturday evening." She was referring to a black-tie event held for the visiting royal newlyweds in downtown L.A. and attended by Deschanel. The source of these serious allegations of bovine pomposity? A quote lifted from a USA Today article.
Ms. Deschanel worried aloud that the neighborhood around the fabulously restored Belasco Theatre might look shabby to the regal couple. "I just don't want them to see the worst of L.A.," said Deschanel.
Excuse me? Downtown, the worst of L.A.?
What, Ms. Deschanel, you don't have any homeless people there near your Westside home? Or does that not count, because they're on the beach, not the sidewalks?
Deschanel posted an open letter to Morrison on her Tumblr and hellogiggles.com, a website she co-founded, in which she corrected several factual errors in Morrison's insane hit piece:
I never spoke to you at this event; in fact, you weren't even there. I am completely and utterly shocked that a professional journalist, whom I have never met, would take a partial quote out of context, and use it as the basis for a misguided personal attack. [...]
Let me be clear, the quote from USA TODAY that you used as the foundation of your piece, was taken completely out of context. I NEVER said Downtown LA was "the worst of LA." I did make a reference to a parking lot adjacent to the theater that had a lot of trash in it in an attempt to be humorous. I simply said, "it's funny they brought royalty here, there is a parking lot with trash around the corner." [...]
I LOVE DOWNTOWN LA and I relish in any opportunity to spend time there. [...]
You make so many far-fetched conclusions; for one thing, you state, "go back to your house on the Westside." Well, I can't do that because I do not live on the Westside.
And so on and so forth. Morrison has since posted a response to the response in which she calls Deschanel "a talented and charming actress" who she hopes will "head back to greater downtown L.A. one of these days." No apology was offered. In response, Zooey alerted her 400,000+ Twitter followers to the piece, eliciting tweets of celebrity solidarity (@mindykaling wrote: "you my friend, were the victim of a lazy person on a slow news day. LAME!" while @msleamichele cheered, "you seriously rock..read your response letter on @hellogiggles and I must say you are a smart, witty, and awesome lady"), while simultaneously unleashing a torrent of online hate in Morrison's general direction, for whom summer's about to feel a whole lot longer than 500 days.
[Photo of Deschanel via Getty Images]