It occurs to me that Robert Christgau might not know what business he’s in.

In his National Public Radio review of Blame it on Gravity, the latest album by the Old 97’s, Christgau decides to spend a good chunk of time openly wondering whether some of the songs on the album reflect actual troubles in the lovelife of frontman Rhett Miller. That’s a reasonable speculation for a music critic to make, great. It’s a standard, is somewhat pat, observation. What rankled me was the fact that Christgau follows this statement almost immediately by stating that he’s “not in the gossip business,” and patting himself on the back for not publicly speculating on the condition of marriage.

Now I’m not saying that the gossip business is a bad business. It’s a fine business, nobler than some and better than most. But it is what it is, and when you talk about rock stars for a living, you, my friend, are in the gossip business.

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