Nothing has a way of breeding solidarity like a shared sense of injustice, which is why TV audiences will tomorrow have the dubious pleasure of watching Gwyneth Paltrow show her patrician face on the Rachael Ray Show.

The reason for Paltrow’s visit, of course, is that damn New York Times cookbook ghostwriter piece that refuses to do the decent thing and die, though in its defense, that’s because people won’t let it. Or rather, certain people like Gwyneth Paltrow and Rachael Ray, both of whom took to the Internet to refute charges that they had help in churning out their cookbooks. The New York Times responded by not really responding, and also by refusing to offer a correction to the story. And so Gwyneth and Rachael are uniting to air their grievances in the only way that famous and obscenely wealthy people know how: by commandeering the airwaves to tell America that they’ve been done wrong.

To be fair, the Times should have contacted both parties for fact-checking purposes and given them a chance to respond to the accusations leveled at them. If nothing else, it would have prevented the spectacle of these two behaving like a couple of sorority girls who have been two-timed by the same guy and are determined to show the world just how over him they are.

Because regardless of what the Times should have done, Ray and Paltrow’s manufactured show of solidarity only highlights how out of proportion their sense of victimhood is to the perceived insult, and why it shouldn’t be such a big deal to suggest that cookbook writers in possession of empires don’t do everything themselves. There’s something to be said for letting it go, for extricating oneself from the mud instead of protesting just a bit too much. Or, as a friend of mine said, it’s like The Human Centipede: Paltrow and Ray seem to be stuck in a repetitive cycle of eating and excreting the same crap, with no end in sight. Until another controversy erupts.

Perhaps someone can do a review of the Red Lobster in San Antonio, using help from a ghostwriter supplied by the producers of Anderson.

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