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Fake intimacy: Strategies of engagement in Israeli gossip columns
Unformatted Document Text:  This item can be read on several levels, depending on the reader’s knowledge. The Cash Register, is a nickname given to Ms. Tova Hassin, a Tel Aviv “in” fashion designer, whose creations are extremely expensive matched only by her eagerness for publicity. She was, and still is, a constant fixture in gossip columns, and was one of the first guests in a new TV gossip show called Limousine, hosted by Gil Riva, the last columnist of Shlihut Katlanit. 9 This particular item tells us about Ms. Hassin’s ostentation, behaving in a Hollywood diva style, giving an expensive car wrapped in a pink ribbon; information that may titillate the ordinary reader. For people in the know there is an additional level of meaning: the same beloved husband had fathered a child born of an affair with another woman, and the story was the talk of town for some time. It is an opportunity for the columnist to revive the drama and remind the connoisseurs of the celebrity scene of a salacious scandal. Using contextual information that not all audience are privy to creates a segmentation of readership and make the item interesting to people all over Israel from Tel Aviv to Dimona to Kiryat Shmona. Reporting about Tova and poking fun at her is not limited to Zippora. The following item from June 1996 was published in Shlihut Katlanit (Lethal Mission): 7. Tova’le, both reality and fiction, is celebrating her 50 th turning point in an event almost as populous (or vulgar) as herself. Towards the exciting peak moment the legend began an ear and heart-breaking monologue: [….]. She also went to a performance of Aviv Gefen [a singer]: “people don’t realize he should be prime minister. I stood among kids and they shouted: ‘who’s this grandma?’ and I shouted back: ‘Your mama’s a 9 Ms. Hassin’s relationships with the press are very close. When in September 2002 her boutique was burglarized and many items of clothing were stolen, it was reported in great details in major newspapers.

Authors: Schely-Newman, Esther.
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background image
This item can be read on several levels, depending on the reader’s knowledge. The Cash
Register, is a nickname given to Ms. Tova Hassin, a Tel Aviv “in” fashion designer,
whose creations are extremely expensive matched only by her eagerness for publicity.
She was, and still is, a constant fixture in gossip columns, and was one of the first guests
in a new TV gossip show called Limousine, hosted by Gil Riva, the last columnist of
Shlihut Katlanit.
9
This particular item tells us about Ms. Hassin’s ostentation, behaving in
a Hollywood diva style, giving an expensive car wrapped in a pink ribbon; information
that may titillate the ordinary reader. For people in the know there is an additional level
of meaning: the same beloved husband had fathered a child born of an affair with another
woman, and the story was the talk of town for some time. It is an opportunity for the
columnist to revive the drama and remind the connoisseurs of the celebrity scene of a
salacious scandal. Using contextual information that not all audience are privy to creates
a segmentation of readership and make the item interesting to people all over Israel from
Tel Aviv to Dimona to Kiryat Shmona.
Reporting about Tova and poking fun at her is not limited to Zippora. The
following item from June 1996 was published in Shlihut Katlanit (Lethal Mission):
7. Tova’le, both reality and fiction, is celebrating her 50
th
turning point in
an event almost as populous (or vulgar) as herself. Towards the exciting
peak moment the legend began an ear and heart-breaking monologue:
[….]. She also went to a performance of Aviv Gefen [a singer]: “people
don’t realize he should be prime minister. I stood among kids and they
shouted: ‘who’s this grandma?’ and I shouted back: ‘Your mama’s a
9
Ms. Hassin’s relationships with the press are very close. When in September 2002 her boutique was
burglarized and many items of clothing were stolen, it was reported in great details in major newspapers.


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