richard blackoutAnswers to the most common questions asked about “You Say Who” – the area’s only gossip column…

Q:  Where does your information come from?

A:  From you – from readers, from friends, from strangers, from people who work in the area or own businesses here, from local decision makers and influencers, from publicists. 

At the recent Zombie Walk, someone stopped me at the Brick Wall while I was on my way to the bathroom to give me a tip.  The column would not exist if it were not for sources – I am grateful for every one. 


I guesstimate that 75 percent of the information I receive doesn’t have the substance behind it to publish is beyond mean or is inappropriate for TheBPlot.  Also, there are some stories I have in my pocket that I believe will turn into something down the road however timing-wise or fact-wise, I can’t publish it right now.    

Q:  How do you know that a source is telling the truth?

A:  I don’t.  I check out every piece of information independently – by working the phone, email, internet and other sources.  My name is behind everything on so I take a lot of time ensuring, as best I can, what’s on the site is solid.  I also have a coterie of dear attorney friends who believe in this site and guide me as needed.

Working for Howard Stern and Maury Povich – pre-interviewing and screening hundreds of people every week – and briefly with the “National Enquirer”, I’ve developed a reflexive sense about who simply doesn’t have the whole story, who has a grudge and who is completely lying.  Then there are also the sources who “pop” – these are the highly cherished sources who time and again come through with concrete info, quickly and succinctly.     

Q:  Will you reveal a source?

A:  Never.

Q:  Where did you get the idea for the column?

A:  Lord knows I love pop culture and gossip.  I read the autobiographies of some of the first – and best – gossip columnists Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper (1930’s to 1960’s) and translated some of their ideas for Asbury Park.  Hedda was the first to develop “blind items” – brief stories that dont mention the subjects name. 

Today, I read the New York papers every day, flipping past the pressing news of the day first to my friend Richard Johnson’s “Page Six” and Cindy Adams’ column. 

Q:  Are the people you write about pissed?

A:  Sometimes, probably and no.  FYI, I have sources who give tips about themselves and their business partners and family, too.   My goal is not to make people miserable – it’s to make readers laugh, think and talk.  The soul of the column is meant to be fun. 

The people who present themselves as believing gossip is beneath them or it “tarnishes” the site, are the same people who stop me at Wegman’s asking me who I wrote about last week in “You Say Who”.

Q:  Who designed the photo in “You Say Who”?

A:  The talented Billy Mecca, publisher of and SALT.

Q:  Why have gosspy “You Say Who” on the site?

A:  A growing city as great as Asbury Park – with a huge spectrum of personalities and projects – needed an outlet for the stuff thats going that most people want to know about but can’t be discussed in general conversations. 

No matter what, most people love dish about their neighbors.  The feedback has been positive and the numbers don’t lie – traffic for the site is up more than 1,000 percent since “You Say Who” launched.  It might be the Asbury Park area’s naughty little secret about secrets.

Have a question, comment or tip?  Email me:

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