Gossip Boys: The Guys Behind Dlisted and JustJared
Michael K and Jared Eng Are As Different As Night and Day, but They're Both Leaders in a New Wave of Celebrity Gossip.
For those unfamiliar with good-natured celebrity news site JustJared.com and the supremely smutty gossip blog Dlisted.com, the author of the latter, who goes by Michael K, offers this comparison: "JustJared is like the best seat at an Outback Steakhouse and I'm a takeout carton from Chili's To Go." In other words, overindulging in either can leave you feeling a bit queasy, and one is nicer than the other.
Although JustJared, founded and edited by Jared Eng, and Dlisted's voices couldn't be more different -- Eng refers to Britney Spears as a "pop princess" while K's dubbed her "Our Lady of Cheetos" -- they're both shepherds of a new wave of online celebrity gossip, driven less by hysterical headlines and dubious quotes from anonymous sources who are "close to the actress" and more by their own personal tastes. In the six years they've both been around, JustJared and Dlisted have gone from the personal blogs of two unknown pop-culture obsessives to full-fledged entities with readership in the millions, even at times surpassing Web gossip titan Perez Hilton.
Here, both men reveal more about their sites, their styles and what happens when Tina Fey starts reading.
How they found their voices:
Jared Eng: When I started blogging from the angle of, "All I'm doing is putting information out there without opinion," the JustJared voice was formed. I like letting other people be the ones to judge. I don't need to say that someone is wearing an ugly outfit -- if it's ugly people will see that it's ugly.
Michael K: I used to be really blunt and say whatever the fuck I wanted to. I go back and read old posts and I'm like, "This sounds like porn." Now I try to sprinkle a little sugar on what I write. When people write in and are like, "OK, that went too far," I take that into consideration and use that to tweak things along the way.
Writing about celebrities with problems:
JE: With Charlie Sheen, I think we did four or five stories about it, whereas other sites were covering every single little development. That's not JustJared culture. I don't like covering the downward spirals of celebrities. I like to build people up.
MK: Everyone thinks Christina Aguilera has a problem, but I don't know what the problem is! People get drunk when they go out. If there was a camera following me around, it would be capturing the same things. I always like celebrities more when they're messes. I find it endearing. It shows that these people aren't perfect.
How they set themselves apart from other sites:
JE: Original reporting usually involves salacious stuff, which isn't our angle. We focus more on innocuous things like what people are wearing. But we'll find out as many things as we can before we post a story to give it a full, 360-feel. A lot of people will just throw up a picture and say "Here's this person at this event," but we do a little digging.
MK: I try not to write about anything political, and children are a fine line. If they're photographed without their parents, then I won't post that. But I also like to be creative. If you have a set of photos and there's no story to go with it, then you have to make up your own. You can't just say, "Here's Maddox [Jolie-Pitt] wearing a white T-shirt." You need to create a story that's entertaining. On the other hand, I then basically end up writing fan fiction about four-year-olds, which is a little bit creepy.
To hang out with celebrities or not to hang out with celebrities:
JE: I like going out and seeing people I know who can then introduce me to people that I haven't met. Now that I'm going to more and more events, people just feel comfortable talking to me. [I've hung out with] Miley Cyrus, Kate Bosworth, Kirsten Dunst and Rachel Bilson at events.
MK: I used to get invited to parties and I don't go anymore because I don't want to meet someone and then feel like I can't write about them.
They can sit on their side of the cafeteria and I''ll sit on mine.\
When celebrities give feedback:\
JE: I once met Sienna Miller and was nervous because I had posted a lot about her and Jude Law. There was a little awkwardness and after a minute or two she said, "I hear you''re very supportive, so I just want to say thank you." Even when I''m scared or reluctant to meet certain people, it ends up being good, since I don''t post negative things. I think celebrities feel safe reading it.\
MK: Having Tina Fey say she liked Dlisted in an interview was bizarre. Why would she be reading me? I''m trash. Sometimes I''m still like, "I don''t know if she really reads this, because this is kind of disgusting."
Michael K is a genius. Condistenly hilarious. Love him.
Does Michael K have a boyfriend? I would marry him!
Michael K, I know youre reading this thread and probably started it
I love Michael K--he''s a talented writer, and so snarky. It''s easy to write bitchy--snarky, not so much.
Jared is just a PR shill. Would love to know how much he''s paid to post about nobodies like Rachel Bilson and Kate Bosworth on a daily basis.
I love Michael K too. I Read Dlisted every day.
Michael K makes me laugh out loud. Something I rarely do at blogs.
My fav Michael K posts are his slavering Prince Hot Ginge opines. %0D\
I have never never known anyone have such hots for Hot Prince Ginge as Michael K. I''m kind of hoping it''s written in the stars that Harry and he will somehow get together one day.
I love when these standard topics get a mention on DListed:\
1) Chicken Cutlets\
2) The Empress of Lucite\
3) The Slut Dress\
If you''re a regular reader of DListed, you know what I''m talking about.
Perez Hilton is circling the drain.\
His posts used to get hundreds of comments. Now, many go without remark.
Michael K is a cum dump rice queen and faghag/interns does most of his posts just like JJ, Perez and the rest of the useless shitstains.%0D\
PS: MK''s faghag interns are posting.
JustJared is good for high-quality pictures, and that's it. The comment sections under the stories on that site are overrun with fraus and fangurls. You should see the meltdowns they have whenever someone dares to suggest that one of their fantasy men is gay - oh, dear!
Jared is like a mini Perez but nice. He wants to be friends with celebs and never writes anything bad or acknowledges any rumors (including gay rumors). I'm sure he also gets paid to write trivial fluffy pieces about starlets hanging on to their fame.
Michael K is naughty with glitter on top. Hilarious, doesn't take himself or the celebrities serious and makes up stories to go along with the boring pictures. I check out Dlisted every day.
Michael K is sooooooo talented. To use words such as "slut" "fuck" "cum" "whore" "tranny" "cock" is sooooooo high brow and genius.
I find Dlisted funny but some of his regulars who post are not very friendly at all to anyone new posting. Kind of cliquish.
[quote]Jared is like a mini Perez but nice. He wants to be friends with celebs and never writes anything bad or acknowledges any rumors (including gay rumors). I'm sure he also gets paid to write trivial fluffy pieces about starlets hanging on to their fame.
I'm almost sure that Gerard Butler's PR people have got some kind of deal with him - there's constantly updates on Gerard on that site as if he's some big star when he really isn't.
Michael K's regular posters are cut from the same cloth as posters they love to mock and feel superior to.
Michael K can be amusing and get a laugh out of me but he isn't particularly creative. His site is as much about him as it is the celebrities. Jared's isn't about him at all.
The best parts about D-Listed is when he sprinkles in personal stories about dating or his Abuelita. I love the blog but don't read any comments. I used to see him on Grindr in Williamsburg but at some point he moved. I kinda have a crush but would never message him. Didn't know he liked Asian guys.
They're both boring, ego-driven hacks. I can't get through any of their posts, because of the glaring "look at me, I'm being clever!" tone of their writing. Very pedestrian. And their delivery of their gossip is too amateurish to be enjoyable.
Gossip isn't about the person doing the gossiping. People like Cindy Adams, Liz Smith, and Ted Casablanca know this. They know how to write a good story and hold your attention. And to focus on the celebrity in question.
[quote]Now that I'm going to more and more events, people just feel comfortable talking to me. [I've hung out with] Miley Cyrus, Kate Bosworth, Kirsten Dunst and Rachel Bilson at events.
He is just a celebrity hanger-on. That's just pathetic.
Gossip Boys? I prefer the nickname "Payola Pussies."
Or how about "The Graft Gays"...ooo ooo..."Quid Pro Quo Queens!"
That may have been the old model R19, when gossip was published in the paper, but in a gossip blog, I think its perfectly acceptable to include personal anecdotes. D-Listed doesn't scream "Look at me!" He's very self-deprecating.
Anyone remember Pink is the new Blog? I gave that up because his tone was, "Look at me and this cool party I went to with all the fabulous people".
Michael K shaves off all his body hair, and is addicted to meth.
He's hit and miss, and his site is always behind news wise. He tries so hard to be funny that you can literally be three paragraphs in and still have no fucking clue what the news story actually is.
What's the guy's real name anyway?
That's what I can't stand about most of these gossip blogs - most of the writers try to make it about them and include themselves in some way in every story. I don't give a damn about some gossip blogger, just give the gossip.
I know Michael and he's a genuinely funny and very nice guy.
I don't read Dlisted for the gossip. I read it to hear MK's distinctive voice. And I never read the comments. Yuck. Who'd read that shit?
Dlisted is unreadable.
r25 = Michael
I agree with r26.
[quote]I don't like covering the downward spirals of celebrities. I like to build people up.
Because having "People" and "Us" and the rest of the tabloid assholes isn't enough PR and fawning? He's all happy because celebs aren't mad at him. He's right about one thing: he's trash and I can't imagine why anyone reads his sycophantic crap. What a sad loser.
As for dlisted, it's been linked here, so I clicked a few times. It's unreadable, illiterate ranting, and sublimely unfunny. I'm not surprised that people on here think it's hilarious, though, because wit has definitely been supplanted by cunty stupidity on here.
Same here. Love Michael K but hate to read the comments. It's a circle jerk of a handful of nazi fraufans who talk back and forth to each other, without commenting on the photo or story. Stupid and so annoying. I always want to tell them to take it off-line and get a room. MK should get control of that shit and kick all those losers to the curb.
I actually don't mind the comments on Dlisted and I get the feeling some of them are also DLers.
The comments on JustJared make me weep for humanity.
The best thing about Michael K is that he would make so much fun of this, have you emailed him? R23
He has documented since I started reading his skinniness, being Asian and his love of partying........so what's your point? And DO you have any proof?
Re some above, he is half Chinese and often goes on and on about it. Really hates racism, so that could be why he...like Asians?
Oh, and I'd rather read is 'unintelligible' rambles anyday then the pathetic whoring of these blogs to the publicists and actors.
Finally, does anyone see the irony that DL'ers would be funny about these guys considering the kind of blog DL is? Where you can't go ANYWHERE without the most homophobic insult on gay people by gay people?
JustJared (JJ) is being nice because, essentially, he is a PR hack. That's why celebs love him...because he doesn't call them out their bullshit or address legitimate rumors. It's fluff, and that's why the publicists and their clients love him.
Perez has turned that way now. What once was a bitch who actually did call people on their shit (and unfortunately 'out' a few folks...but gave us 'hints' at to the rest), now he plays nice = just another part of the Hollywood PR system.
Help celebs sell the "image" they want you to, and of course they'll love you.
Call out why 'so and so' shows up everywhere with his "girlfriend" while he has a rep for hooking up with guys elsewhere...oh no, can't have that.
Screw that PR fluff. You know, you CAN call out celebs on their crap/lies/facades AND not be overtly negative.
I love Dlisted.
I come to Datalounge, Facebook, Dlisted, BBC News, Huffingtonpost
R34 I agree. Perez sold out big time. I no longer visit his site since he sold out, not to mention his "gossip" is always out-of-date.
The people who post comments on JustJared are just sad and pathetic. They're worse than the fangurls and fraus on IMDB.
I love, love, love, love MichealK. Love him. The only blog that makes me consistently actually laugh out loud.
I don't read Dlisted for the gossip. I read it to hear MK's distinctive voice. And I never read the comments. Yuck. Who'd read that shit?
Much prefer Michael K's Dlisted, than JustJared. I read Dlisted almost every single day. I do wish Michael K would REALLY proofread his posts because a lot of his hilarity is lost due to misspelled, or even missing words! Stoner!
Just Jared keeps people closeted if they wish and in return they'll pose for pictures for him.
[quote]Just Jared keeps people closeted if they wish and in return they'll pose for pictures for him.
His that why we see all the Gerard Butler and Henry Cavill pix on that site?
Am I the only one who likes D-Listed's posts about desperate Z-listers like Courtney Stodden and Shauna Sand? I think the desperate wannabes make an interesting contranst to the actual celebrity gossip.
I'm the only one, aren't I.
R41, that's how it seems to me.
Perez Hilton, Michael K and Jared Eng are fucking assholes who worship slander and tarnishing the reputations of celebs and their families in a despicable manner, no wonder those losers are hated so much for the garbage they spew on their blogs. Fuck them and fuck their fans.
I hate Michael K with a burning passion. Someone should sue his smart ass.
R44 = Stefani Germanotta
JJ is OK. I check him a couple of times a day. You can't really compare him & DListed's Michael K. Michael K is a genius writer. Absolute bitch and I love him. JJ is just a sort of bland, newsy entertainment site.
I do have to credit JJ because he updates frequently, and I don't fault him for not being edgy. His site gives up to the minute informational stuff.
Although, sometimes JJ gets carried away and has photos two times a day of Gerard Butler or Reese Witherspoon, and I swear Jennifer Gardner, and Jessica Alba must take their own photos and send them in. Gwen Stefani too.
JJ came out a couple of years ago, and I like to support him. Perez is useless. He doesn't even get news anymore. He just copies stuff that's already in the Daily Mail and TMZ. Michael K is wonderful. He's my special treat at the end of a long, ridiculous, wretched day.
Is "Perez Hilton" even a thing?
I'm going to check.
R23 = Perez
I love Dlisted mentions of Rojo Caliente.
You know, it's interesting that these guys all started out about 6 years ago. The whole blogging thing, and the gossip sites were a new phenomenon then, and they hung in there and starved,kept at it and now JJ is making money, Perez is rich, and I have no idea about Michael K, but he should be a best selling author by now. He's brilliant.
[quote]Michael K, but he should be a best selling author by now. He's brilliant.
Agreed. The skillful way he calls all women sluts, whores and bitches is so epic. A true mastery of the written word, he possesses.
Even if dickhead Michael K publishes a book no one would be interested in reading the trash he writes about others and calling them nasty names.
Add me the Michael K lovers on here. Love his snark. He writes the way I'd like to think *I* would, if I had wit or talent or cleverness.
F*** Michael K.
I used to love reading dlisted but Michael K's minions have ruined it with their boring posts. Also, he used to be funnier years ago but he has toned it down since he became more popular. Ah we'll, it beats the rest of the gossip blogs.