(nytimes.com)—What she does not have is a column in a New York tabloid, the Via Veneto of the gossip world. Since The New York Post dropped her in 2009, she has been a herald without a proper platform, rejected by the media names she helped make boldface.
So when J-Lo sneezes, it is now up to someone else to make sure the public gets sick.
“I don’t think my name could sell anything now,” Ms. Smith said in the apartment where she moved after her stroke in January, from her longtime digs above a Tex-Mex restaurant in Murray Hill. She wore a white cable-knit sweater and bright orange lipstick.
“It used to mean — bylines used to mean something in journalism,” she said, her Texas accent still unbowed. But with the internet and social media, she said, “most people have forgotten about so-called powerful people like me; we served our time.”
Which put Ms. Smith at an existential crossroads: If a gossip columnist dishes in the forest and no one repeats it, does it make a sound? In a celebrity landscape that considers contestants on “The Bachelorette” to be celebrities, how does a star-chaser regain her star?