Spreading Celebrity News

It’s really pretty simple. The process is based on the ancient art of information dissemination, commonly known as gossip. Here’s how it works. In the endless quest to satisfy the voracious appetites of vicarious attention-whores (A.K.A. National Enquirer subscribers, etc.), Site A posts a fascinating, albeit negligible, glimpse into the life of Celebrity 1. Then, Site B ever so slightly tweaks the information to lure in readers with as little effort as possible (and to avoid outright plagiarism).

Take this story by E!online writer, Natalie Finn.

Martha Stewart Head-Butted by Her Own Dog

File this under “not good things.”

Martha Stewart needed a plastic surgeon Tuesday after her otherwise adorable French bulldog Francesca, apparently startled out of her nap, slammed right into the media icon’s face.

“She bolted upright with such force that she hit me in the face like a boxing glove hitting an opponent’s face,” Stewart blogged today. “I was entirely startled and my neck snapped back. I felt a bit of whiplash as blood gushed forth from my split lip. Frannie was as upset as I was and cowered in her bed.”

Realizing she had a “pretty serious gash,” she took off for the ER at Northern Westchester Hospital, a few miles away from her home in Bedford, N.Y. She had her daughter call ahead to make sure a plastic surgeon was on call and, once there, she documented the experience in pictures.

Stewart was patched up in time to make it to NYC for her 9 a.m. Martha Stewart Show taping, and today’s show featured a recount of her trip to the hospital, as well as a crackerjack tutorial on how to organize your kitchen.

I know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone feel the need to sex up an already great story? It’s a tale of attempted murder, bravery in the face of facial pain, and the indomitable will of a woman who refuses to let possible disfigurement keep her from helping others organize their stuff.

I’m almost certain that Martha is telling the truth, and not lying to keep her dog from being euthanized. True, it looks bad. The dog had motive, opportunity, and a definite chip on her shoulder. Being a bulldog (and a French one at that), Francesca must struggle every day against specists who think of French bulldogs as sinister-looking little freaks. Then to be dressed like the member of a chain gang on national television must have been beyond mortifying.


Even so, I do not think Francesca is a passive-aggressive little bitch, but rather a victim of circumstance. Being startled from a sound sleep by her Master, Francesca briskly hopped to, as would any smart member of Martha’s household. With the delirium of sleep and beady little eyes hampering her depth perception, the poor dog whipped up her head and collided with Martha’s lip. I’m sure she felt terrible, but I suspect that Frannie cowered in her bed, not so much from remorse, as from fear of dismissal.

Martha was the real hero in all this. Who else would have the presence of mind to have her daughter call the hospital to have a plastic surgeon waiting at the door, implements in hand? Most of us would have raced to the E.R., only then to realize that someone else had already called dibs, and we would be forced to sit in the waiting room for three hours using a towel to stop the gushing blood.

Sadly, the sordid minions of the media always manage to tarnish true journalism. This is where Site B comes in with their inflammatory headline Martha Stewart Makes ER Visit After Own Dog Attacks Her. I think Francesca should consider suing for libel.

(Author’s Note: In fairness, I saw the dog attack headline first. Thinking perhaps that one of Martha’s chows attacked her like a Vegas magician’s tiger, I was concerned that Ms Stewart may have been seriously injured. Then I clicked on the “reportedly” link (because I thought it odd) and was led to the first, less meretricious article.)

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

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