back to the Black Table

New York Daily News columnist Lloyd Grove is stirring shit up. He may seem a little stuffy, but the man's a gigantic media demon all set to blow holy hellfire farts on the scorched sidewalks of New York Focking City. Grove spent 23 years in Washington D.C. at The Washington Post before making his way to the New York Daily News last summer to write his Lowdown column.

We e-mailed Mr. Grove a couple weeks ago about participating in our Rock and a Hard Place interview series, informing him about our esteemed list of past interviewees (including the chaotic cauldron of lunacy that is Jayson Blair, and told him we'd be flattered and honored if he would let us interview him. However, Mr. Grove is a bit confused: Sounds like a possibility -- though I'd rather not appear on a journalistic panel with Jayson Blair.

Fair enough.

We politely corrected Mr. Grove and told him that he was not asked to participate in "a panel" but rather an INTERVIEW (or, more specific, a foul-mouthed e-mail exchange posing as an interview), and he happily obliged. Since he seemed a bit flighty, we wanted to make sure his royal Groveness understood what kind of INTERVIEW he was agreeing to, and we asked him(again) to please look over the past RAAHPs so he didn't freak out. He said he would. We followed up the next day and asked if he still wanted to participate.
Mr. Grove wrote back:

Well, if it's a panel with Jayson Blair, I don't think I can participate.


Anyway, he finally sobered up, strapped in and gave us the business.

Drop down and get yo eagle on, Grove.


BT: Has anybody confused you with Max Weinberg, drummer for Springsteen and The Conan O'Brien show? On that note, who's your favorite Jew?

LG: I am much taller and better looking than Max Weinberg. Occasionally, however, I am just plain confused. My favorite Jew is Madonna.

BT: Does the Wonkette chick piss you off? I mean is there any jealousy there since she's basically made more headway in the Beltway gossip scene in a short amount of time than you did n 19 years?

LG: Anna Marie Cox writes an amusing blog and I applaud her efforts. I am not jealous of her at all. Of course, she's made more headway -- and I urge her at every opportunity to increase her fame by accepting Playboy's offer to pose with Washingtonienne.

BT: Oof. So, Howard Stern: Do you think he's taking this FCC thing a little too far? I know you guys hate each other and everything, but do you respect what he's trying to do?

LG: I don't hate Howard Stern at all, but I fear for his emotional well being. I know his various neuroses are a big part of his show -- to which I have listened every so often with great enjoyment (at least when he's not doing farting contests or transsexual strippers) -- but now, after having met him in person, I sense that he is genuinely neurotic. I have the greatest respect for all Howard's endeavors, including his battle with the FCC.

BT: But, was there a legitimate beef between you guys? Did you really hit on his girlfriend?

LG: I had and have no beef with him, and no I didn't hit on his girlfriend, who was too busy trying to drag him away before he had an aneurysm.

BT: Is it tough when famous people think you're an asshole? Or does that mean you're doing your job well?

LG: I honestly don't give a toss what famous people think of me, as a general proposition. Beyond being fair to the people I write about -- i.e. giving them a chance to respond to whatever I'm writing -- my obligations are to my bosses and my readers.

BT: Alright, let's get to the good stuff: Is it fair to say that you're knocking off Page Six employees one by one in an attempt to prove whom the superior gossip monger is? Was it true that you gloated after Ian Spiegelman got fired?

LG: Yes, that's a fair statement (even though it contains a grammatical error -- it's who not whom). And no, I didn't gloat. Gloating is for small-minded people.

BT: Who/Whom. Fuck/Phuck. Whatever. But, do you think it was kind of a shitty thing to do to somebody? I know he wrote the e-mail, but was it really your place to tattle on him? I mean, were you settling old scores or just doing your job?

LG: Total misunderstanding of events, I'm afraid. I came into possession of an email apparently written by Spiegelman, but I had to authenticate it. I would have gone straight to Ian, but Richard Johnson has instructed me to take all Page Six related queries to Howard Rubenstein -- which is what I did.

Ian can't -- and I believe doesn't -- blame me for the consequences of his own actions. By the way, I don't have any scores, old or otherwise, to settle with Richard, whom I like. Who I like?

BT: If you -- cough, bullshit, cough -- say so. Would you rather be a big fucking rat or have sex with a dead pigeon?

LG: Thank God I have not had to face such options in life thus far. Please ask me next year.

BT: With the GOP convention coming to New York in August do you think you have an advantage over the other gossip moles because of your D.C. experience?

LG: I would at least hope that I am able to keep up -- but I have to admit I have been out of the political scene for nearly a year now and have to strain to remember if I know a single Republican operative anymore.

BT: Well, Mort Zuckerman's getting his money's worth then, huh? What do you find the most deplorable characteristic that you have to employ in order to one-up the competition? Do you lie to publicists? Or do you flirt with them? Like do you take them for carriage rides through Central Park and recite poetry to them?

LG: I have to pretend to be a likeable fellow instead of the gruff curmudgeon that I naturally am. I never lie to anybody -- I can't expect people to tell me the truth if I do otherwise. Occasionally I have been known to flirt with a publicist -- but my poetry recitals are restricted to dirty limericks.

BT: So, you've been doing this New York thing for a little over a year now. Do you hate your job yet?

LG: The only thing I hate about my job is all these strangers asking all these stupid questions! Seriously, if I can be serious for a moment, I love New York, the greatest city on earth, and it's almost worth every dollar I overspend to live here.

BT: Do you think entertainment journalism has pretty much morphed into "gossip" at this point? And how hard is it to maintain credibility in this field? And isn't it true that publicists do pretty much control that news source. And isn't it true you were once a woman?

LG: Your first three questions are giving me a headache. Do me a favor and ask Jim Fallows instead, won't you? [Ed. Note: Mr. Fallows did not respond to calls to comment.] And yes, I occasionally like to wear a nice pleated tennis dress.

BT: You're crazy, man. You're crazy. I like you, but you're crazy.


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