Oscar Bloggers Get Biblical Treatment From New York Magazine

The marquee sit-down took place at Musso and Frank, one of the very few remaining vestiges on Hollywood Blvd. of Tinseltown’s Golden Age. However, despite writer Boris Kachka’s description of Gold Derby’s Tom O’Neil and Awards Daily’s Sasha Stone as the Oscar blogging realm’s respective Adam and Eve, the professional picture painted seems a far cry from the Garden of Eden. More like a den of inequity.

According to Kachka, for those who make up this “motley and contentious” bunch, “no film buzz is too preliminary or perfunctory.” The writer raises with Pete Hammond a conflict-of-interest that has become fairly entrenched and carries his cheeky Old Testament allegory to the next, illogical level:

If Stone and O’Neil were the Adam and Eve of Oscar blogging, frenemies David Poland and Jeffrey Wells were its Cain and Abel. (Which one was Cain depends on whom you ask.) Poland started Movie City News in 2002 and began broadcasting his jaundiced perspective…

Two years later, Wells started Hollywood Elsewhere, which is not just a film blog but an idiosyncratic document of the film blogger’s life. Interspersed with raves and pans are broad caricatures (Academy voters are “lazy sheep”) and complaints about junket accommodations.

The juiciest details in Kachka’s piece involve Wells. Everything from the blogger’s not-cute meeting with Stone, to the identity of an individual selling ads for his site, to the details of that bold questioning of Cate Blanchett at the recent Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

All in all, this is one of the best pieces written about a slippery slice of 21st century entertainment journalism. Wells has subsequently fact-checked the article. While he notes that the feature directly encompasses only a portion of the Oscar blogging community, the writer definitely did himself a disservice by mentioning actress Emma Thompson three times and Anne Thompson zero. It’s hard to comprehend the lack of even passing acknowledgment of Indiewire’s veteran awards watcher.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
New York Magazine Charts Finke-Penske Ups, Downs

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.