Walter Winchell Gossip Monger Tough to Box in Politically
Forbes magazine, in an article about celebrities and gossip titled, “Thoughts on Celebrity Mania, Walter Winchell and James Candofini,” provided coverage of Winchell profiled in Chapter 2 of The Right Frequency.
Writer and movie critic Neal Gabler had this to say about gossip columnist Walter Winchell (1897-1972) (Gabler wrote Winchell: Gossip, Power and the Culture of Celebrity):
If one surveys this culture of Monica Lewinsky and O. J. Simpson and constant gossip and salaciousness, and one tries to trace the roots, you find yourself at Walter Winchell. He was not only present at the creation of this modern journalism but in many respects he was the creation.”
Winchell, portrayed by Burt Lancaster in the searing 1957 film The Sweet Smell of Success, described his craft thus:
“Gossip is the art of saying nothing in a way that leaves practically nothing unsaid.”
Winchell, the inventor if infotainment, could be difficult to define politically, as The Right Frequency explains. He began as a supporter of President Franklin Roosevelt before becoming a supporter of Sen. Joe McCarthy.