Liz Smith On Gossip Blogs: "They Are Very Clever... But I Don't Believe A Word Any Of Them Write" (VIDEO)

Liz Smith, the legendary gossip columnist who was recently fired from the New York Post, appeared on CNN's Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz to reflect on losing her "tabloid home" in New York and the state of the gossip industry.

Smith says it is "exhilarating to be fired at age 86," and that even though her column is moving to her website, she would like to find a print medium because of her love of newspapers.

Smith later turned her sharp tongue towards gossip on the internet, a "wild" medium which she fears cannot be trusted because there is no way to control how blogs gossip.

I think the real problem is that there is no control on the way people gossip now. There are no editors, publishers, lawyers aren't -- the Internet is just wild. So these kids who are running or Perez Hilton, they are very clever and they deserve a lot of credit for making fabulous careers for themselves.

But I don't believe a word any of them write.

Watch a clip of Smith below.


Full transcript below.

HOWARD KURTZ, HOST: Liz Smith, welcome.


KURTZ: Doing very well. I'd call you an institution, but I don't want to make you feel old. Are you feeling a little bruised at losing your tabloid home in New York?

SMITH: Actually, it has been very exhilarating being fired at age 86, because, you know, everybody already thought you were all washed up.


KURTZ: You're getting all of this attention. You're kind of reveling in it?

SMITH: I am. I was sorry to -- nobody wants to lose the power and the fun of a daily column. But it has all worked out pretty good for me. And I'm going to move to on to the Internet, to my site.

And I'm going to hope to get another print medium because I love newspapers.

KURTZ: That makes two of us. Let's stick with The Post for a minute, the paper was paying you $125,000 a year. Rupert Murdoch apparently signed off on this, it wasn't his idea. Does this mean you were no longer in the in-crowd as far as The New York Post was concerned?

SMITH: I don't think I was ever in the in-crowd as far as their editor was concerned. I really wasn't his cup of tea, Howard. I was too, you know, maybe laid-back. He thought I was too friendly with my sources.

And I just wasn't -- you know, I didn't have that killer instinct that they love on The New York Post. Also, I love New York. And I care about New York. And I don't think these Australians understand or love New York.

KURTZ: Now I've heard that before about you, about, oh, Liz Smith, she's just too nice to the people she writes about. Has gossip become meaner these days and maybe you're a little out-of-step with the new culture?

SMITH: It has become more obvious. I mean, more vulgar, you can say more things, you can -- you know, you can say things you weren't able to say. I remember back when "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" was a big hit. I wasn't allowed to say that on the air.

I couldn't -- I had to "Whohouse," and that was only about 10 years ago or...


KURTZ: I don't think we'll bleep that. Now I remember living in New York in the late '80s when you were working at The Daily News and you broke the story that Donald Trump was getting divorced from his then-wife Ivana, and you were sort of Ivana's side and Cindy Adams with The New York Post was with "The Donald" side.

And was that a weird situation to be in, taking one side sort of in a divorce?

SMITH: He wouldn't talk to me, so I had to take the side I could get. And that went on for about three months and it made me very famous and it made a lot of money for The Daily News and for WNBC.

So they -- my editors wouldn't let me quit that story even when there was nothing more to say. And looking back on it, I see it was just a divorce quarrel between rich people. It had no significance. But the public loved it because Donald was a character.

KURTZ: It seemed earth-shattering at the time. Now...


KURTZ: ... there is so much gossip now, I mean, you were part of a long tradition going back to Walter Winchell, but now you have magazines, TV shows, Web sites, blogs, US, In Touch, OK, Gawker, has that kind of drained the mystery out of the rich and famous?

SMITH: Boy, I'll say. And the rich and famous and the big stars, they are really -- they have disappeared. You -- name me a really big star, they are only about 25 of them now. But when I was in the Winchell era, there were really famous people, and you didn't have to have them explained to you.

When people said Katharine Hepburn or Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable, people knew what you were talking about. I think gossip now is intensely vitiated because there is so much media. There are so many people gossiping.

So it has lost its meaning. It's like anything in excess. You get so you don't care about it. I have -- I am now a philosopher of entertainment.


KURTZ: Well, maybe that explains why I meet some of these glossy magazines, and I don't know who half the people are. Are gossip writers -- particularly with so many of them chasing the remaining celebrities and sort-of-famous and wannabe famous, are they used and manipulated by the "Brangelinas" of the world, the big stars and their P.R. people?

SMITH: Well, at least those big people that are using them like "Brangelina," they are using them for a good cause. They've just learned that if they want to raise money for this or that, they have to expose themselves to some extent.

I think the real problem is that there is no control on the way people gossip now. There are no editors, publishers, lawyers aren't -- the Internet is just wild. So these kids who are running or Perez Hilton, they are very clever and they deserve a lot of credit for making fabulous careers for themselves.

But I don't believe a word any of them write.

KURTZ: Well, if Liz Smith doesn't believe it, then I need to be skeptical too. Now Sean Penn is a pretty big star. He just won an Oscar and he made a big speech in defense of gay marriage. He is not one of your big fans, is he?

SMITH: Well, when I was introduced to him, he turned and ran out of the building without saying hello. And I thought...


KURTZ: How often does that happen?


SMITH: But I am very full of admiration for him. I didn't care. I thought it was funny.

KURTZ: Now you said earlier you were a co-founder of this women's Web site Wowowow. You said a few years ago that you had no time to read blogs, that you didn't really think much of the whole blog phenomenon. What made you change your mind?

SMITH: Oh, well, I mean, I'm like one of those people who had fabulous horses back when they invented the combustion engine. You know, I was just a Luddite. I was resisting moving forward. But now I've embraced the Web totally, even though I'm really inept at making it work.

But fortunately people come along and they help those of us senior citizens who are still trying to work.

KURTZ: The digitally-impaired get a little bit of assistance.


SMITH: Exactly.

KURTZ: All right. You're 86, you've done this for a long time. Why aren't you writing on a beach somewhere? Why do you still want to be in the gossip game?

SMITH: I don't have very many real personal aspects of my life, so I fell in love with my work. And I just enjoy it, Howard. I don't want to get out of the game yet. I want to declare myself invalid when I feel like I can't do it -- cut it anymore.

KURTZ: All right. Well, as long as you're writing, we will find some platform, some place to read you. Liz Smith, thanks very much for joining us.

SMITH: Thank you, Howard.