Old MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

'Tard Next To Ebert Thinks He Invented Blogs

Wait, you’re telling me it wasn’t the The Onion’s sharp-as-a-tack columnist Jackie Harvey who invented blogs! And that blogs aren’t influenced by Larry King, whose random, scattered thought-emissions were assembled into space-filling USA Today text>
Now the ‘Tard Who Sits Next to Roger Ebert says he thought up the blog years ago–but never did anything about it. Too modest apparently. Richard Roeper, in another bid for feedback for his feeble Chicago Sun-Times column, writes, “Many years ago, before anyone heard the term “blog,” I came up with the idea of running multiple items in a single column.”
Don’t bother with the rest of his topics du jour. Most of Roeper’s column’s are lists. Read Rick Zorn‘s response in the Tribune.
“Roeper seems to lack the humilty gene,” writes Zorn — “The capacity for modesty that makes insufferable overachievers sufferable. Just an observation. If you can find a self-effacing passage or a joke at his own expense in Roeper’s ouvre — and the rumors are true, he does have one! — it will be one I’ve missed.”
Zorn also points out that the “many subjects in one column”-column-which Roeper falls back on about twice a week–can be traced to journalist Jack Mabley, who wrote for the Chicago Daily News, the American, the Tribune and the Daily Herald. (He’s got a scan of a 1981 column that hits upon five disparate issues.)
Tribune readers with long memories point out that there were many earlier columnists who did the same.

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4 Responses to “'Tard Next To Ebert Thinks He Invented Blogs”

  1. former ST-er says:

    Very amusing. I worked with Roeper and his so-called blog style was just a bunch of under-developed story ideas that he swiped from other reporters working other beats.
    BTW, It’s Eric Zorn at the Tribune.
    But nice job alerting folks to Roeper’s bloopers.

  2. Thank you for posting. All credit should go to Zorn, who also points out that Sun-Times columnist Neil Steiberg has an arch remark about self-regarding media pundits in his 6/13 column.
    What would we all do without Romenesko’s Media News, where all the journalist catfights get itchy and scratchy?

  3. John says:

    You are right!
    Do you remember the column in which he listed the t-shirt slogans that he saw at Lollapalooza one year.
    He is also very adept at column stuffing. That is one in which he quotes others at great length. Once he even stuffed a column with one of his own older columns!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Roeper is to reading as Old Country Buffet is to eating.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon