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?

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  | 
Related: Is Murdoch’s WSJ being snubbed?, Ransom Notes, Fourth-estate follies, 2009 edition, More more >
  Topics: Flashbacks , Michael Dukakis, Paul Tsongas, Nat Hentoff,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MURDOCH MISHEGOSS  |  May 06, 2010
    Never mind that Rupert Murdoch is shelling out better than $2 billion to buy Metromedia’s seven TV stations. Never mind that he’s then turning around and reselling Boston’s WCVB-TV, Channel 5 to the Hearst Corporation for an astounding $450 million.
  •   FATHER FEENEY  |  October 09, 2009
    Leonard Feeney, a defrocked Jesuit priest and pretty much of a legend in this city as a result of the “sermons” he preached on the Common every Sunday without fail for eight years, from 1949 to 1957, attracting sometimes as many as a thousand people to heckle and to laugh as much as to listen—Father Leonard Feeney is in the news again.
  •   THE MOUTH BEHIND THE EYE  |  August 24, 2009
    Norma Nathan, who looks for all the world like a naïve and guileless suburban homemaker (and knows it), was down on Long Wharf a couple of weeks back, snooping around. She was checking out a rumor that Ed King, his Cabinet, a group of political supporters and a crowd of lobbyists were about to embark on a lavish Harbor cruise.  
  •   MURDOCH MULLS HUB'S HERALD  |  October 25, 2007
    This article originally appeared in the October 26, 1982 issue of the Boston Phoenix.

 See all articles by: DAVE OBRIAN