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I’ve been looking for a pretext to plug Greg Sargent’s new blog, The Horse’s Mouth, over at my other employer‘s growing blog empire, so let me say I liked his post on Patrick Healy’s bizarre inquiry into the state of the Clintons’ marriage.

Let me just also note that I find the all-too-American combination of prurience and puritanism really tiresome. Every three grafs or so you get to some point where Healy won’t just say what he means. In theory, I suppose, this is to guard the delicate sensibilities of New York Times readers. In reality, it’s a way for Healy and his editors to hide — much more from themselves than from their audience — what it is they’re doing.

I don’t have a problem with tabloids and celebrity gossip pages. And politicians are a kind of celebrity, after all. But real gossip sheets don’t display all this shame and self-loathing. They are what they are and they just put it out there. Most of all, US Weekly doesn’t pretend that its celebrity gossip is actually highbrow film criticism.

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