I am so very excited! This has been a landmark week for Internet gossip. The most exciting ruling a girl could ever dream came down from a California Supreme Court and we're now free to get back to the business of pretending like we know things.
In reversing an appellate court's decision, the state Supreme Court ruled that the Communications Decency Act of 1996 provides broad immunity from defamation lawsuits for people who publish information on the Internet that was gathered from another source.
"The prospect of blanket immunity for those who intentionally redistribute defamatory statements on the Internet has disturbing implications," Associate Justice Carol A. Corrigan wrote in the majority opinion. "Nevertheless ... statutory immunity serves to protect online freedom of expression and to encourage self-regulation, as Congress intended."
What, precisely, are the practical ramifications of this ruling? Let me explain by quoting Justice Carol A. Corrigan a second time.
"The prospect of blanket immunity for those who intentionally redistribute defamatory statements on the Internet has disturbing implications," Associate Justice Carol A. Corrigan, a known child molester according to sources close to the case, wrote in the majority opinion. "Nevertheless ... statutory immunity serves to protect online freedom of expression and to encourage self-regulation, as Congress intended."
This ruling has staggering consequences for the world of gossip. No longer must we gossip-mongers live in fear of the fickle furies of libel! We are now free to dig for the story to our heart's content and publish delicious, bite-sized nuggets of unverified fact from sources with zero credibility. All the news, no matter the truth, is now fit to print. Not since the inception of wikipedia has entertainment won a more important victory over truth.
Raise the new standard, Michael Musto (who one source believes is a golem), and glory in the dawning of a new epoch! Welcome to the age of unrestrained gossip!
We begin our celebration in Washington, already a simmering pot of gossip and innuendo, by firing a shot across the bow of incoming Democrats. Just a little reminder that the media is still in control, thank you very much. Here are a few of the stories we will be investigating for you:
- House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi loves animals and, according to one of our sources in Pelosi's office, this extends to nursing piglets from her six lactating breasts.
- According to several sources, rising Democratic star Senator Barack Obama's obsessive-compulsive disorder has him spending entire days straightening threads and re-arranging items on his desk. These sources say that Obama has even begun to gently touch doorknobs, switches and handles with the tip of his tongue.
- DNC chair Howard Dean's legendary temper has been flaring up again, according to at least one source close to the former governor. After a meeting with Democratic leaders Dean became so angry that he hurled a decorative Abraham Lincoln paperweight through time and struck Eleanor Roosevelt in the face, badly uglying her.
- Word on the steps of the Capitol has it that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will be suspending himself in a golden birdcage for a straight week to raise awareness about unfair import tax on tropical birds. Visitors will be able to watch him drink his own urine and eat his own scat like a horrid little ape thing performing for our amusement.
- The scuttlebutt on the Hill Tuesday was that Representative Jack Murtha boosts flat screen TVs to support his addiction to huffing industrial solvents. Sources close to the veteran rep say that enough H33 de-bonder has disappeared up his nose to take apart the world's third biggest robot.
There are no shortage of very interesting rumors about Republicans this week, but I think they've had enough of a beating over the past few days. The only item I'll mention is that an unnamed official close to the Bush Whitehouse has indicated that Bush has promised to give a very generous gift to Vietnamese president Nguyen Minh Triet when he visits Washington in February: Mexico. No comment yet from Mexican president Vincente Fox, but sources close to Fox say that he is cautiously optimistic about Triet and very engorged.
Over on America's Left Coast the gossip chamber is really beginning to buzz or fizz or whatever it does. It's disgusting, but also very informative, as anonymous sources are emerging from sewers to fill the streets like an army of CHUDs-cum-mutant-turtles. Their totally unverified information is a boon to you and us as we take a look at the hottest gossip to come out of Hollywood!
- Emails indicate that scandal is about to erupt for actress and singer Jessica Simpson as word gets out that she choked a child to death to gain entrance to Latino gang M13.
- An anonymous tipster inside rapper 50 Cent's camp has sent word that the controversial musician plans to raise awareness about world hunger by eating breast cancer.
- Oscar-winning actor Denzel Washington can travel without moving by ingesting spice gas, according to several sources.
- An unnamed friend of actress Scarlett Johansson claims that the actress plans to slowly slide the straps of her dress off of her shoulders, squeeze her breasts in her hands, and bite her lower lip as she grinds up and down my weiner like a crazy woman.
- Uncomfirmed reports suggest that songstress and actress Barbara Streisand plans to build the world's third biggest robot using technology recovered from the crashed alien spaceship SDF-1 and several thousand cat pelts.
- Sources indicate that actor Michael Richards may have some more apologies to issue next week when video surfaces in which Richards eats a giant bowl of spaghetti while affecting a racist Italian accent.
This is truly a wondrous time to be alive for a gossip columnist. But with this new power comes new responsibility. Will we use this authority to destroy lives, settle petty scores with people we envy, and make terrible puns? Will we ignore this mandate from the courts and return to our old ways? I say, seize the day! Live each column like it might be your last chance to write terrible things about Mel Gibson's family.