LAST CALL: Gossip reporters clean up at Golden Dustpan Awards

This was no ordinary party. Last Monday, a couple hundred people

milled around at Manhattan's Lenox Room on the Upper East Side, on the

surface pleased to see one another, exchanging air kisses and

complimenting the canapes to the accompaniment of superbly mixed

Cosmopolitans.



However, scratch the surface and you could see the inner panic: 'What

did I just say? Who did I say it to? Why is that photographer pointing

the lens at me? Who is that statuesque redhead whipping out her Louis

Vuitton notebook?'



The statuesque redhead was, in fact, the indomitable Jeanette 'The

Scoop' Walls, MSNBC's gossip maven, surrounded by fellow gossips Richard

Johnson of the New York Post's Page Six, and the New York Daily News'

George Rush (sans 'sex object' Joanna Molloy, for whom Rush made

apologies).



And the occasion? The inaugural Golden Dustpan Awards, hosted by

GossipCentral to celebrate its fifth birthday. Fittingly, by the next

morning, the event had already made the AP.



As GossipCentral's editorial director (and president of PR firm Plesser

Associates in his spare time), Andy Plesser presented the Golden Dustpan

to the tattling triumvirate, the room gasped at the quality of the

trophy: a beautiful gilded dustpan 'from Tiffany.' (So why did you have

gold spray paint on your hands, Andy? Auditioning for the next Bond

flick, are we?)



All three accepted their awards graciously ('You like me!' gushed Walls,

in a fabulous Sally Field impression), though Johnson added: 'I've often

complained that Pulitzer recognizes cartoonists, but not gossip

columnists.'



And was there any gossip from the night? Well, that's not for us to say.



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