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August 16, 2001 -- Kitty set to beat around the Bushes

"WHEN GOSSIP grows old, it becomes myth," said one Stanislaw Lec.

Kitty Kelley took the cake the other night on Larry King's show about the British royals, specifically Diana's boys. The infamous biographer of the world-famous was wearing a huge white corsage that continuously brushed her cheek, and when she mentioned working on a book about the Bush family dynasty, the genial host was more or less dismissive, asking her to stick to the subject at hand.

But this column is interested in Kitty's work-in-progress, which will go all the way back to W's grandpa, Prescott Bush, and move through two presidencies plus attendant relatives, such as the also-famous Jeb, governor of Florida. There is the shuddering thought, too, of her treatment to come of the twin daughters of the president and first lady.

Kitty's publisher and her editor, the distinguished Peter Gethers, have yet to see one written word of Kitty's new obsession, which is still untitled. But as this book is expected to be published before the next presidential election, it is a matter of some concern to avid Bush supporters and the GOP. After all, Kitty Kelley has, in the past, unearthed unnerving details about Jackie Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan and the British royals. (Kitty doesn't fool around with nobodies or semi-celebrities.)

So this will be one of those in-depth, no-holds-barred books about a dynasty that has been described as one of the underanalyzed families of the 20th and 21st centuries. In many ways, from an influence standpoint, the Bushes are perhaps more important and have exercised more effect and sway than the juicy, gossipy, sexy Kennedys. Kitty should be the first notable author out of the gate, and as she is an intrepid reporter who usually burns her bridges, her work will have impact.

The Bush dynasty has somehow kept itself rather well-shrouded in secrecy, going back through Skull & Bones at Yale and on through the CIA and, of course, they've put two men in the White House. Kitty will no doubt attempt to unshroud this famous and very popular family. Wait for it!