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David Poland

By David Poland

LA is a great big freeway…

Just getting settled back in to the City That Never Thinks.
I wish I felt like I missed more… but I guess that is the nature of April.
Looks like we’ll have Sharon Waxman to kick around for a couple of more years. I can’t think of anyone whose skills levels are more appropriate for more mud-wrestling with Nikki Finke.
Apparently, Bob Welkos, who I have always liked, write about “Hollywood bloggers” and brought up Jeff Wells as some sort of psychotic doppelganger to me again. What’s a brother gotta do to get the monkey off his back? I haven’t read the guy or written about him – except like this – in over four years. I really have to read about some idiotic moment in 2000 as though it means something? This is about as stupid as obsessing on what Nikki looks like or dumb, small errors by Sharon Waxman in her book. These are such petty issues… especially when there are real issues regarding the future of journalism at play.
I love this piece by Mark Cuban about NEVER listening to your customers. Obviously, there is some hyperbole in this, but especially in the film business, where every movie is a short-term marketing effort for a massive launch followed by brand management for less than 6 months (as a rule), but with a 2 year turnaround from concept to public release, trying to chase your customers instead of just telling them what the hell they want is a bit suicidal. (not that it always works)
Ah… thank GOD I have multiple outlets leading with the press release about Jimmy Kimmel doing NBA specials for the playoffs!!! What important journalism this internet thing hath wrought!!!
(I know… I’m sick of complaining about it… just trying to figure out a good answer… there has to be a 3.0, right?)

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33 Responses to “LA is a great big freeway…”

  1. Joe Leydon says:

    Can you still put a hundred down and buy a car?

  2. LYT says:

    “These are such petty issues… especially when there are real issues regarding the future of journalism at play.”
    Does every story ever written have to be about those major issues? Seems to me there’s room for a fun primer piece about personalities in the movie blogosphere, of which you and Wells are two major ones, and would be mentioned together in articles even if you had never met each other.

  3. Foamy Squirrel says:

    On Good Friday, 1930, the announcer for BBC news came on and said “Ladies and gentlemen, there is no news tonight, so here is some music”, followed by 10 minutes of light piano music.
    Try imagining that happening today.

  4. David Poland says:

    And yes, Luke… we should be mentioned as though we never met each other. That would be just fine with me.
    You may think it’s nothing, but I never asked to do the blog version of The Two Coreys with Wells.
    Maybe you like it when your parent tells the “funny” story about whatever embarrassment of your childhood you survived and would be just as happy to forget. Not me.
    I’ve done many things I am proud of. And if someone is doing a story that includes my online story, Wells is not only a minuscule part of it, but it is the part I am least interested in discussing. The one thing I learned from that relationship was not to have relationships like that… and if I do, I have no one to blame but myself, because I now know better.
    PS… that line was also in reference to such silly conversations as weight and looks as such. All trivial, whether I like the person or not. A professional journalist asking a director for off-camera nudes… not so trivial. Attacking movies based on what actors look like… not so trivial. Hurling racial epithets at movies… not so trivial. But not my story. And that’s who you think it’s amusing for me to be tied to in press coverage. Thanks.

  5. LYT says:

    Well, I used to see you guys hanging out together a fair bit. Granted, that changed. But you are also still two heavyweight players in your area.
    Before Village Voice and New Times merged, I and Robert Wilonsky were the top two guys at New Times. Robert was also my editor once, and we argued constantly during that time. Nonetheless, Robert and I were often mentioned in the same sentence.
    Did I ask for that? Not especially, but I understand why the link is made.
    To give another example, Andrew Breitbart and I used to be mutual friends of Cathy Seipp. We got into it a few times at parties. He is now much more famous than I, for reasons I don’t necessarily like. If we get mentioned in the same breath, so what? I know I don’t operate like he does. I also make far less money.
    If I were mentioned in the same sentence as him, I might think, “hey, I don’t like to be viewed as his equivalent.” I also might think, “Yay, even if he’s being viewed as a significant player, at least I am, too.”
    You an Wells and Nikki and whoever else share a certain amount of readership. Live with that. You can still feel superior, but it’s silly to be upset that you’re mentioned in the same subject. I don’t like Anthony Kaufman, but he and I are both film reviewers.

  6. David Poland says:

    Again Luke… I don’t have a problem with being mentioned in the same article or the same sentence that has a lot of “ands.”
    What I do have a problem with – and I think you would as well – is if every time anyone wrote about something you were successfully doing now, they felt compelled to tell some story from a decade ago about how you and Wilonsky didn’t get along… would come up only because he wouldn’t stop talking about you.
    Of course, that would never happen because Wilonsky is not likely to lead conversations with journalists asking about his career by talking about you. Same with Anthony Kaufman.
    Do you think it would be okay for me, in that conversation with Welkos, to start with, “Oh man… that Glenn Kenny… he used to brutalize me!”? We’ve buried that hatchet. He’s been perfectly decent to me, even if he still dislikes much of what I do. It’s old news. The only reason to bring it up would to somehow raise my boat by suggesting that I was worthy of the high-minded Kenny’s time and anger. Gross.
    It’s not “I won’t be in a story with Wells.” It’s me not liking being stalked by Wells. Enough already.

  7. LYT says:

    “Wilonsky is not likely to lead conversations with journalists asking about his career by talking about you. Same with Anthony Kaufman.”
    Of course, because I’m not at their perceived level.
    If anything had ever happened in the past between Betsey Sharkey and Kenneth Turan, do you think it wouldn’t be brought up in every conversation?
    How about Turan and Bob Strauss?
    Or, if you want to bring up Glenn Kenny, if Glenn were known primarily as a blogger, rather than former critic to Premiere/actor in a Soderbergh movie, do you think your past arguments wouldn’t be brought up every time?
    To bring it back to me…if for some reason my former editor Rick Barrs felt like talking about me all the time, or if Andrew Breitbart felt like bringing up the time I offended him once in every interview…I would see it as evidence I was perceived at the same level. I can understand why you want to be seen as above that level…but you are personalities of similar stature in the same arena, and there is a way to link you using past events, like it or not.
    Getting agitated about it seems like a waste of energy, to me.

  8. Wrecktum says:

    Hey, I was just banned from Wells’ site. Maybe Poland and I can join forces in the “don’t read the guy anymore” club.

  9. jeffmcm says:

    Is there anybody who hasn’t been banned from Wells’s site?
    Everytime DP tries to get away from Wells, they keep pulling him back in.

  10. LexG says:

    Funny, he likes me and is always encouraging.

  11. storymark says:

    I was amazed that Wells just banned Eloi Manning, one of his most consistent defenders, over an off-hand sarcastic comment. But the man is batshit insane, so I guess my surprise is unwarranted.

  12. jeffmcm says:

    Lex, he probably recognizes a kindred soul. In another 25 years, you too could be a divorced, broken-down, bitter shell of a man with a bad case of Meltface. Or sooner!

  13. Jack Walsh says:

    I thought I picked fights, but it looks like Luke and Dave are pretty deep into another one. Dave-let me ask you-is arguing with your bloggers ‘journalism’ to you?

  14. Joe Leydon says:

    Wait a minute, Jack: I thought you said you weren’t coming back. You’re either in, or you’re out, OK?

  15. Eric says:

    Let’s hope for out.

  16. LYT says:

    I don’t consider anything said by me or David in this thread to be a “fight.” I’m not questioning the way he does business, or anything like that…just his opinion and perception.
    Critics oughta be able to do that with one another.

  17. jeffmcm says:

    I just discovered that somebody (not me) is posting on that Other Blog under the name ‘Jeffmc2000’. Not sure what I think about that. Hope none of you thought it was me.

  18. David Poland says:

    I don’t see this as a fight either.
    But I do think I am having a problem that Luke hasn’t had… and doesn’t quite appreciate the irritation it creates.
    For instance, his Glenn K response… my issue is not some writer choosing to bring it up, which might also be idiotic. My issue is that if in order to keep the flame (pun appropriate) alive, one of us kept bringing it up, years and years after the fact, it would be bloody irritating.
    To be in a feud when the other person is the only one feuding for a looooong time is shitty. There is no “okay” about it. It’s the only kind of control JW has over me and so he asserts it every time he can. And then I have to respond, which invariably makes me look like I am party to continuing the conversation.
    It’s a bitch move by a guy who keeps screaming that I should invite him back in while he is shiving me in the back with this stuff… which is why I stopped reading and talking to him years ago.
    And to answer another kind of single-minded fool’s question – that’s you, JW – no… arguing over personalities and such stuff is nothing but gossip. Arguing over real issues can be a form of journalism. It isn’t always.
    I know that my failure to do something that fits neatly in a box is an irritation to some. Some of what I do is journalism. Some is criticism. Some is provocation. Some is analysis. And some… less than other things, I hope… is gossip.
    I do, however, think that I am pretty clear about which is which.

  19. David Poland says:

    And if anyone is offended by by use of the phrase “bitch move,” my apologies. I don’t really think of it as a female thing when used like that. But I should be aware that this is not always true of others.

  20. christian says:

    “Funny, he likes me and is always encouraging.”
    A kindred spirit.

  21. christian says:

    Oops, just saw that jeffmcm posted same thought.
    And anybody actually surprised by JW at this point, well, they weren’t paying attention.

  22. leahnz says:

    DP, you’re a regular jack of all trades
    (and just to say since i’m reading this thread and the subject of wells at HE came up, i’ve had occasion to read a bit of his blog lately, mostly just out of curiosity after being linked there to see what all the fuss is about, and perhaps it’s just me but the man comes off as mr. ultratouchy-hypocrite-psycho-misogynist-malcontent. i don’t get the attraction at all, maybe i’m missing something)

  23. christian says:

    Wells accuses everybody of being haters when we all know who hates the most. And where were the HE defenders of wrecktum (and where was wrecktum?) during the infamous “Stalinist Purge”? That was when the site jumped the shark. But Wells still has a few Hank Kingsley’s parked in his garage there.

  24. leahnz says:

    perhaps he’s secretly in luuurve with DP, hence the misplaced skulduggery

  25. Krillian says:

    Wells banned Eloi Manning? Wow.
    I’ve been reading both of you since about 1997 so on one hand I can see why you’re linked, and on the other hand, I can see why you don’t want to deal with him anymore.

  26. LexG says:


  27. christian says:

    Lex, you don’t post any of your drunken 16 year old in pop heat bullshit on Wells site — because you know that Wells would censor it. You’re a total puss. Like Wells.

  28. That blogger wars article (part 2!) is one of the DUMBEST THINGS I’ve ever read that tries to seem important or informative. Robert Welkos (whoever that is)appears to be a moron of the highest order.
    Poorly researched, lame, faux gossipy. Just a desperate seeming measure by a nobody trying to still the pot.

  29. LexG says:

    Yeah, I’ve been waiting like 20 hours for DP’s apoplectic reaction to part two of that Bloggers piece (which ranks DP as the looniest and Nikki as the least crazy)… Hope it didn’t put him over the edge.
    For what it’s worth, I agree with Don; It was horribly written, oddly researched, and at some point in the second half, he just runs out of time or space, and after bagging on Poland and Wells for like 40 paragraphs just goes, “Eh, then there’s Nikki, she’s alright… Gotta go.”
    Weird piece.

  30. Joe Leydon says:

    I’m not entirely sure I agree with his rankings.

  31. Foamy Squirrel says:

    If ever there’s a scale that’s been intentionally shoehorned to fit the opinions of the writer, I think one that has “Empress” at one end qualifies.

  32. It’s like Lex said….he used it to bag on DP for whatever reason and then like, got bored with the pieces and trailed off. Plus it seemed like skitzoid rankings. Lamesville.

  33. David Poland says:

    If there is a lesson I have learned – I hope – from this piece, it’s to not trust someone who you have liked and respected for what they do for years when they start asking hinky questions at the end of a 60 minute conversation/interview. Moreover, say “no comment.”
    There is really nothing in either piece that I consider problematic. So I will just leave it.
    I will just add a reminder that Welkos now works for Carlos de Abreau, whose primary business is selling awards to studios looking for a way to launch their awards candidates in October. Carlos is a clever guy. I’ve always liked his old-school Hollywood slickster ways. Very George Christy, with great hair and a tan. And a lovely wife. I guess I’m in his way now. Oh well…

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