Toronto party prince Shinan Govani, the National Post's gossip columnist, gets the boldface treatment in this month's Toronto Life. The delightfully bitchy Gerald Hannon was the perfect pick to write this profile. (I added the links.)
Finally, hired in 2000 by then National Post editor Ken Whyte to deliver a scene column. Fired in 2001, when the Post shed most of its interesting writers. Hired back after, as he puts it, “Whyte came to his senses.” Began with three columns a week; now delivers five. The real kick-start to the column as a must-read came from a very public feud with writer Russell Smith in July 2001. Shinan wrote up a fetish-themed party for the launch of the S&M magazine Whiplash (scroll down), describing Smith as “dressed in wallpapered-on leather pants—offering ample evidence he’s making good use of his gym membership,” and adding that “the writer led ‘friend’ Krista around by a long, dangling leash.” Smith, who thought of himself as part of Govani’s friendship circle and therefore immune to unauthorized revelations, took exception and e-mailed his displeasure. The subsequent exchange ended up in the pages of Frank magazine. “I was a nobody columnist and he a member of the establishment,” Govani says today. “That feud established me in a way—people talked about it for years.” The affair seems to rankle still—on both sides. Govani, who can be cleverly mean but never vicious, describes Smith as “an ogre, with a brittle ego at work,” and says that Smith elbowed him in the back when the two met accidentally in the washroom of a downtown club. Smith does not remember any such incident, won’t talk about Shinan (“that’s what he wants most in the world—to be talked about”), and refers me to a scene in the movie Casablanca in which Peter Lorre says to Bogart, “You despise me, don’t you,” and Bogie comes back with, “If I gave you any thought I probably would.”
Anyway, it's a lonely life apparently being a society columnist. Hey, Shinan! Wanna come over for a BBQ? I'll serve up some dish neither of us can use.