In gossip wars, Jeannette Walls wails: I've been Matt-slammed

MSNBC scribed punished over book outing

By Jennifer Cox

    MSNBC "Scoop" gossip columnist Jeannette Walls is feeling the wrath of Matt Drudge, and she has to admit she’s a bit perplexed.
    "I think he’s being very defensive for someone who is constantly exposing other people’s private lives," she tells Media Life.
    Drudge has attacked Wall via his web site "The Drudge Report" by accusing her of sloppy reporting.  He wrote, "Jeannette dear, slow down and come up for some air. You are becoming a laughingstock, even by MSNBC standards."
     The two met at a literary to do the other night and Walls walked up to Drudge to exchange pleasantries, for the sake of the moment forgetting the raging tiff between the nation's leading online gossips. A photog shot them together.
   But Drudge later let out--or rather sniffed-- that not all was forgiven. So we can expect more sniping.
   The bickering between the two began a few weeks ago when it leaked that Walls was outing Drudge in her new book,  titled "Dish: The Inside Story on the World of Gossip."
    In the book, Walls quotes Washington landscaper David Cohen as saying he dated Drudge soon after high school.
    Walls defends the chapter in her book devoted to Drudge and says it sheds light on the outspoken gossip columnist.
    "I think in my book I offer a portrait of a complex and textured person-- a complete outsider," she says. "It explains his behavior."
    "He’s someone who has rejected the establishment because he was put out of the establishment," she hypothesizes.
    Drudge has lashed out against Walls, saying the portion of the tell-all about him is filled with errors.
   Walls has responded by reminding her readers of Drudges’ past journalistic mistakes.
    "I’m surprised that the man who breathlessly reported Clinton’s nonexistent love child would want to bring up the whole issue of accuracy," she wrote.
    Drudge denies he is gay and has repeatedly said his "youth is a blur." 
     "How can I be [gay]," he pondered in a Salon piece, 'when I am dating a woman with boobs and rollers?"
   To which Walls responded: "Hello, ‘boobs and rollers’? You just proved your heterosexuality beyond doubt. I'm sold."
    Walls says  she opted not to include parts of her interviews which she describes as "lurid details" of Drudge’s sex life.
   "At first I thought, ‘If he can talk about Clinton’s cigar, then I can talk about stuff he did with food,’" she says. "But then I decided, I don’t want to go there."
    Uncertain of the content of the chapter about him, Drudge beat Wall to the punch by spreading rumors on his web site about his alleged unorthodox sex life, including a bad case of pubic lice, a liking for fully clothed sex in the shower and a strange egg fetish.
    Probably more disturbing to Walls, Drudge published her work phone number, home phone number and e-mail address, and encouraged readers to contact Wall and share their own "Drudge sex stories."
   Walls says she has nothing against Drudge personally. "And, I’m not passing judgment," she says.
   But Walls continued, "Anyone who can dish it out better be able to take it."

-Jennifer Cox is a staff writer for Media Life.

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