A Guide To Recognizing Your Hollywood Blog-Feuds

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Today's hyped-up New York Observer story about the devolution of Variety's influence was notable for exactly two things: a ridiculous narrative framing device about Ashton Kutcher's million-man Twitter (which all news outlets are apparently forced to acknowledge) and a glorious, printed slap fight between some of Hollywood's top bloggers. This is the best part of reading online film columnists: their grudges! Let's review some of the most notable ones, including some the Observer never even touched upon:



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NIKKI FINKE

Proprietress of Deadline Hollywood Daily, which gained cultural cachet during the WGA strike and often beats Variety to the scoop about executive shuffles and behind-the-scenes power plays. Spoken of in hushed tones for fear of reprisal...

Feuds: ...except by her fellow online columnists, for whom she's their number-one target. Nearly every webhead on this list has feuded with Finke (a recent DHD takedown written by David Poland began with this classic lede: "FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!"), and when Roger Ebert criticized her tone and accuracy when covering this past Oscar telecast, Finke demanded -- and got -- an apology.



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DAVID POLAND

Longtime film journalist Poland runs entertainment site Movie City News, but it's at his Hot Blog that he chides industry colleagues on a regular basis.

Feuds: In addition to his ongoing animus toward Finke, Poland is in peak form when raging against the New York Times (the more specific the reporter, the better -- sorry, Brooks Barnes!), colleagues who are friendly toward him ("Variety's Pamela McClintock is a smart reporter, but..." "I love Anne [Thompson]... but..."), and his own commenters, from whom he was recently forced to ban himself.



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PATRICK GOLDSTEIN

Goldstein spent years at the Los Angeles Times turning out weekly fluff pieces about a great lunch he had with some producer, or the valuable film opinions of Brentwood children ages 9-12 (using a focus group of three kids he found outside his house before deadline). Oh, and he also railed regularly against Hollywood bloggers before the Times forced him to be one.

Feuds: Goldstein manages to bring the same half-hearted enthusiasm he patented in print to his blog feuds. One of his most notable skirmishes was the wan correction ("I hate to be the skunk at the picnic") of Finke's recent report that Juan Antonio Bayona was being talked about as the director of the third Twilight film. Goldstein may have had a quote from Summit president Erik Feig, but Finke went DEFCON, and after bringing all her ammunition to bear, she eventually secured yet another apology (this time from Feig himself).



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SHARON WAXMAN

Editor of The Wrap, a new Variety-supplanting website that is in desperate need of a Photoshop intern.

Feuds: Waxman is the subject of some of the most unexpected, cutting attacks in the Observer article ("I think she's even one of the worst journalists I've ever encountered," is just one barb kindly offered by Hollywood reporter Anita Busch), though Waxman herself is mostly Finke-obsessed. During the crucial early days of The Wrap, she spent many of her biggest posts feuding with Finke, which overshadowed most of the news her site was breaking.



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DEVIN FARACI

CHUD scribe Faraci is one of Hollywood's most outspoken entertainment journalists, and his Twitter is a great place to watch him bite the head off any colleague who dares draw near.

Feuds: Faraci went aggro on the journalists and comedians who Twittered their way through Crank: High Voltage, promising to "smash [the] fucking phone] of First Showing's Alex Billington and provoking comic Aziz Ansari with the innocent solicitation, "C'mon, Aziz, just dying to know when you're at UCB next so I can have my cell phone out the whole time." Later, Faraci posted a series of ethical commandments that he felt his fellow journalists should abide by, then addressed the Twitted grumbling it inspired with the self-congratulatory "All of my enemies seem to be weak and pathetic. I guess this is a good problem to have!"



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JEFFREY WELLS

One of the few bloggers on this list who actually seems to see movies (and even like them!), Wells has nevertheless earned his most devoted following for the enjoyably cuckoo-bird rants that he seeds in between film observations at his site, Hollywood Elsewhere.

Feuds: Wells has a long-standing contretemps with Poland, who had him thrown out of his Sundance carpool years ago, though Wells seems to have simmered on the matter (even if Poland still refuses to read him). More recently, Wells antagonized fellow journalists Kim Voynar and James Rocchi when he was flown out to the Oxford Film Festival to be a part of their panel, yet bailed at the last minute due to displeasure over his hotel's WiFi situation (which he found far more blog-worthy than the festival he'd promised to cover). Still, it's Wells's most random feuds that gain him the most attention; like a self-aware Andy Rooney who's just mastered his shtick, he regularly rails against fat people, Hispanics, homies, and Matthew McConaughey (who he's fingered as Satan incarnate). ♦



Comments

  • Alex Billington says:

    Please stop giving that rotund gastropod ink, you should featuring smarter people with better taste!

  • stretch65 says:

    zzzzzzzz -huh?
    such drama zzzzzzz

  • stolidog says:

    So, Jeffrey Wells dressed up as Satan and had his way with Matthew McConaughey?

  • fake_DevinCF says:

    What I find delicious about this article is that with regards to my doppelganger there is no mention of his inability to defend himself against any criticism without resorting to retorts that invariably use 3rd grade level comebacks. My favorite is his use of "retarded," a raison d'être of sorts for a man who seems to have no issue or compunction with visiting sets (those darn ethical commandments always getting in the way) and then reviewing the very same films without any issue.
    Last time I checked (and who has time for fact checking when you've got to consult the Funk & Wagnalls on the various and approved usages and creative ways to use profanity), the man displays the kind of behavior he ought to be proud of: boorish, simple-minded, lacking in any great depth and subject to adolescent vagaries which has made him a paragon to those who enjoy his high school role-reversal antics.
    He delights in picking apart the halcyon days of yore for many, reminding you of the stupidity and "retardedness" (a word he may feel free to co-opt) of such a thing like the Transformers that was made for the youth, targeted to the youth and to which the youth responded to with their money (show business can be so wacky with its aims to make cash).
    So while he purports to not have intelligent enemies to speak of maybe that's a reflection of the man who stands tall, a cultural imperialist, who's ready to tell you how wrong, stupid, misguided (take your pick) you are should you disagree with his learned opinion.
    My reflection on the man is that he has potential to be someone great, who could really change the face of film criticism, but as it stands, he's someone who lets his rhetorical juvenilia, showing him for the grammatically addled simpleton with a working knowledge of film, get in the way of greatness.
    This emperor to retards definitely has no clothes.

  • Fake_devincf,
    I think I love you - in a non-Gay, brotherly love kind of way.
    Nicely said, my friend. Nicely said.
    Vic

  • Da7e says:

    I, for one, am loving this comments section.

  • TheMarquis says:

    Fake_defincf,
    I think I love you- in a totally-Gay-even-though-i'm-straight, man-crushly love kind of way.
    Nicely said, sir. Nicely said.
    theMarquis

  • Mr Blume says:

    I wonder if Faraci prefers to speak at the mirror or the screen when he rants.

  • Cole Abaius says:

    "[Movie Blog] politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small."
    -Henry Kissinger, mildly altered (the quote, not Kissinger)

  • el smrtmnky says:

    i just love that sharon waxman was having a tiff with anita busch. that's like a drag cabaret dream come true.

  • Brilliant Orange says:

    My numbers of blogs to avoid has increased by six.

  • Little Mintz Sunshine says:

    Oh, be nice. Nikki was the victim of a crime. A CRIME!

  • Gabe Toro says:

    He's kind of an egotistical douchebag*, but Devin's the smartest, most respectable, and most consistently right of all of these clowns.
    *He knows this.

  • Ben Mortimer says:

    In defense of Devin Faraci, his sit is far more readable than many of his contemporaries. While /Film and Collider are both sterile echo-posts, and Ain't it Cool's are often rants, CHUD is opinionated, entertaining and factually correct. Further Faraci's ethics are of a higher standard than most in the industry, and he stands by them.
    Online journalism is a new industry. It's a different beast from it's print cousin, and Devin Faraci exemplifies the new breed of journalist/fan involved in that industry. I appreciate he needs to grow a bit before he achieves his full potential, but even still he has an ability that eclipses his peers.

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