Documentary “Starsuckers” Shows It’s Amazingly Easy To Plant Bogus Celebrity Stories In Newspapers

I love a good documentary and this one, “Starsuckers,” looks especially stellar. It looks at our culture’s growing obsession with celebrity—how newspapers and stations have drifted towards celebrity journalism and how fame is sold to us like a commodity. The part of the film I’m most excited for? Director Chris Atkins wanted to test how well tabloid journalists fact-check the stories called in to or emailed to their tip lines. So, his team concocted some totally bogus stories—like that Avril Lavigne fell asleep on a couch at Bungalow 8, that Amy Winehouse blew a fuse during a party and electrocuted herself turning it back on, and that Guy Ritchie got a black eye juggling silverware at a restaurant. They sent these stories to major newspapers, and a huge percentage of them actually ran. The filmmakers turned down payments but could have banked about $1,200 for their efforts. This flick opens in the U.K. on Oct. 30. As of yet, there are no plans for it to travel stateside, but here’s hoping. [Guardian, Starsuckers]