MCN Blogs
David Poland

By David Poland

Why Old Media Blogs Still Don't Quite Work

Doing the rounds this morning…
What are people in the industry talking about? Conversation one today is Variety, WB, etc, and whether you and yours are still gainfully employed.
Patrick Goldstein’s only post this week was about watching a TV interview with two critics in New York.
Peter Bart’s post this week was about watching the SAG awards.
His last post last week was in praise of Jim Carrey and his Sundance movie that has not sold and is not in a hurry to sell… perhaps Peter is waiting for Will Smith to outgross Carrey’s next “daring” comedy with a weighty drama that makes more profit so he can slam Smith (who never calls) again.
Truth is, I also think it’s great that Carrey is stretching and working for nothing to do it. He really needs to do that, as a commodity and as an artist. But it does piss me off when the same behavior in one star draws attacks and in another, gushy, over-the-top praise.
But I digress…
The Wrap used a hyperbolic headline – Bloodbath – but delivered a rather mild piece about the events of the day at Variety, even though the page employs Nicole Laporte, who was recently dumped by the paper after four years for financial reasons. Much more interesting to have her perspective than Waxman writing up a trade-style report rounding up everyone else’s reporting.
The Daily Beast is still all about rich people and has no apparent interest in anyone getting laid off… just people who are rich enough to be ripped off by Bernie Madoff.
The Bagger does acknowledge Anne Thompson’s exit on his blog with a big, sloppy kiss. This is why Carr remains the one Old Media writer who seems to be breathing fully in the New Media blur.
Thing is, you know that Patrick and Peter and Sharon and Tina all have very strong points-of-view on all of this. And we are getting none of it. And this is where I see the big disconnect. Yes, the hard news matters. But there are a thousand places where that news is landing.
The web must be responsible about getting the story right… every time. But the connection people have to these stories is personal. It is the personal that people seek. And when you are, in reality or not, supposed to be swimming in the deep soup, the survivors will be the ones who find a way to keep their integrity while still letting readers know what they are discussing with friends around the virtual water cooler.
To be fair, I underestimate just how hard it is for people who are steeped in one format to adjust to another. I had this experience this last couple of weeks with the very excellent Gregg Goldstein, who was with us for Sundance, and who had a very hard time trusting the way the web works. He is used to the Old Media style of The Hollywood Reporter and worked his ass off trying to make things happen in many of the same ways he did when he was there. I am very happy with the work he did… but that transition, which often feels self-indulgent – and often is – is still challenging to him… a smart guy… who wants to please his employer. And he was only steeped in it for a few years. I can only imagine how hard it is for people who have been doing it for decades.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.

The Hot Blog

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