The Mouth Behind the Eye

By DAVE O'BRIAN  |  August 24, 2009

She also tends, now and again, to allow the column to drift into what is known as "keyhole journalism." Like the time she wrote about the assistant US attorney (who is married) chasing after a female reporter. Or the Rhode Island state senator (who is married) whose car was seen parked overnight at Harbor Towers. "Calling that an invasion of privacy is a very male posture," Norma said. "Who do you think calls me up all the time? Did you ever think it might be the unhappy wives? I think a lot of the stuff I write is preaching and moralizing. I'm very partial to victims."

As long, some observers snidely suggest, as these victims are not unusually attractive women. More often than not, Norma's seem to be just that. ("A woman who's beautiful can have a lot more initial opportunities than a woman who's not," she says.) Like, for example, the well-known model whose career suffered greatly after Norma identified her (with picture, no less) as having been accused of shoplifting. Or Channel 5's Natalie Jacobson, whom the Eye insists on calling "newsthrob." Or, for that matter, Diane White, who says she loves gossip and reads Norma faithfully but whose parodies so incensed Norma that, after learning about the protests by the likes of Elma Lewis and Marie Howe, the Eye heatedly (and not so subtly) retorted, "In short, the Nose smelled and it may have breathed its last. The Eye has always been above the Nose."

Which does smack a wee bit of the sort of ax-grinding Norma claims to avoid. But then so, come to think of it, does this, from the May 20, 1977, Eye:

"ABOUT TIME: Fella I know named Norm Nathan has finally graduated from radio school. He was awarded his diploma last week from the Leland Powers School - 33 years to the May day he should have graduated and didn't.

"He left school for his first job in radio, has been mostly hustling ever since, but returned last week as commencement speaker and picked up the May 1944 diploma while there.

"Well, you need a diploma to get a job, right?

"Eye is personally gratified, knew he could do it - if he really tried.

"Congratulations, sweetheart."

Eye say. That is sort of nice - if personal and mushy, isn't it?

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  Topics: Flashbacks , Michael Dukakis, Norma Nathan, South Shore,  More more >
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