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Vote for Time’s Most Influential, and Please Let Nikki Finke Beat Perez Hilton

Time has a poll–the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Go on, vote for Nikki Finke. We did. She’s ahead of John McCain, Nicholas Sarkozy, and Vladimir Putin.

Perez Hilton is at # 5, which is a sign of the end times.

On the bright side, Nick Denton, at #204, beats Eliot Spitzer and Rhonda Bryne, both of whom allegedly know about secrets.

And there must be a secret to this as Korean pop star Rain is in first place.

Weiner’s TRO and The Curious Case of Jim Taricani

Allison Hope Weiner might want to do some research into the curious case of Jim Taricani, the Providence, RI investigative reporter who did 6 months for refusing to name a source.

Weiner, readers may recall, got served a temporary restraining order aimed at stopping her from posting audio tapes of Anthony Pellicano and his clients on her HuffPost blog. The NY Times made the tapes available as well (Pellicano and his indicted lawyer Terry N. Christensen), but where’s their TRO? Christensen’s trial will start about a month after Pellicano’s ends, and his legal team says that the tapes compromise his right to a fair trial.

The NYT has lawyers just sitting around, waiting for someone to try interfere with freedom of the press, but is the Huffington Post likely to stand by their blogger? Weiner’s represented by Theodore J. Boutrous Jr. of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher. The hearing hasn’t been scheduled yet.

While covering the Plunder Gate case of former Providence mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr, Tarcani received a surveillance tape from a source to whom he promised anonymity, and aired it, in defiance of a federal court order against the dissemination of such evidence. He was cited for contempt of court, fines ratcheted up, and he did 6 months of home confinement, with NBC underwriting his legal defense.

Robert Iafolla, writing in the LA Daily Journal, takes the “it can’t happen here” tone. Weiner’s CDs were subject to a protective order issued in April 2006, although she’s not actually bound by that order. It’s a safe bet that Pellicano didn’t give them to her, and unlikely that she found them at a yard sale, so that leaves, oh, who knows? the defense team?

The whole motion is probably designed not to not put a gag order on Weiner but to get her testimony per the source of whoever actually violated the protective order. Or course, that puts the Huffington Post in an uncomfortable spot.

HuffPo Blogger Weiner Served –Restraining Order at Pellicano Trial Shoots for 125 Million Page Views

March wasn’t as good to LA as was February, but as Meredith Artley’s memo says:

we’ll gladly take anything over 100 million

100.7 million page views for March

Top Blogs:

1. Top of the Ticket – 1,348,258 PVs
2. L.A. Land – 667,560 PVs
3. Lakers – 637,579 PVs
4. Show Tracker – 431,935 PVs
5. Web Scout – 429,819 PVs
6. L.A. Now
7. Homicide Report
8. Dish Rag
9. Daily Deal/Travel
10. Babylon & Beyond


1. An attack on Tupac Shakur launched a hip-hop war – By Chuck Phillips

2. How did the Clinton campaign get here? – By Peter Nicholas

3. Spitzer fall places prostitute onto national stage – By Zachary R. Dowdy, Newsday

4. Spitzer’s prostitute a Girl Gone Wild – By Gina Piccalo

5. UCLA workers snooped in Spears medical – By Charles Ornstein

6. Obama confronts nation s race issues – By Peter Wallsten and Peter Nicholas

7. An elusive billionaire gives away his good fortune – By Margot Roosevelt

8. Clinton battles Obama’s momentum – By Mark Z. Barabak and Michael Finnegan

9. Obituary: Boyd Coddington, 63; custom car designer – By Dennis McLellan

10. Clinton rides the wave of Tuesday victories – By Mark Z. Barabak

The paper’s shooting for 125 million. Top Videos below–only 1 is homegrown, and 5 are about sex.

Read more

Errol Morris on Re-enactments in Documentary Film

Documentary making god-figure Errol Morris has a great op-blog in the NY Times on the use of re-creations and re-enactments. Writing about his film The Thin Blue Line:

It never occurred to me that someone might think that the re-enactments were not re-enactments at all, but honest-to-God verite footage shot while the crime was happening. It’s crazy for someone to think I had just happened to be out on that roadway, that night, with a 35-millimeter film crew and many, many cameras–cameras taking multiple angles, high angles from overhead, low angles at tire-level looking under the car, even angles inside the suspect vehicle. How could anyone think that? How could anyone believe that?

Well, people are dumb.

As was the Academy when it presented Mighty Times: The Children’s March with an Oscar in 2005 for best documentary short, despite the plentiful use of faked footage. Morris talked to doc. maker and professor Jon Else:

JON ELSE: To me, the bigger problem in “Mighty Times” is that they used footage from a lot of other cities and other years. There’s footage from the Watts riots two years later cut into scenes of Birmingham. There’s footage from the Little Rock school integration crisis five years before cut into Birmingham. The thing that tipped it for me was I was had worked in Birmingham in ’63. I was actually on S.C.C. staff – Student Coordinating Committee.

ERROL MORRIS: How old were you?

JON ELSE: I was a kid. I was like 19. I hadn’t actually worked on the Birmingham movement, but I had been through there the week after the church was bombed. I remember the guy at the Y.M.C.A. – the white Y.M.C.A. – we asked how to get to the 16th Street Baptist Church – and he said, “You mean that church that the niggers bombed?” I had been recruited to be an undercover guy. I was to go eat lunch at a restaurant owned by Lester Maddox in Atlanta. He had a mob of Klansman at his restaurant that beat up any black person who tried to eat there. For months, I went over to the Pickrick, his restaurant, with a buddy of mine, we were both on the S.C.C. staff. And over the door of the restaurant he had a sign “I refuse to serve Integrationists.” And after several months of doing this, I ended up going into court and testifying against him. The reason this matters, is that I’m watching “Mighty Times” [about the summer of 1963 in Montgomery] and up pops a shot of Lester Maddox in Atlanta, Ga., taken two years later, standing in the door of his restaurant saying “I refuse to integrate.” And that’s when I thought, “Jesus, I risked my life to testify against this guy, and they are putting him in a different city two years earlier.” There’s a real audio-visual record of what happened during those years in that part of the country. It’s fraud. It’s a double fraud. Both in the re-enactments and in the wholesale importing of other cities, other times. I’s’ like Monopoly money.

The comments, while sparse, are worth reading.

Freelancia Implodes as Blogistan’s Borders Expand


Recently, New York Observer ran a doom and gloom piece about the lack of freelance magazine writers. They’re all blogging. Doree Shafrir reports that it’s a harsh world out there:

For most established but not well-known writers, $2 per word at a major magazine is standard, though usually negotiable. So even if a fledgling magazine writer were to write one 1,500-word feature a month for a national magazine–which would in itself be a difficult feat to pull off–he or she would be pulling in $36,000 a year before taxes. That’s also assuming that none of the stories were killed or held and that everyone paid on time.

Luckily, Alissa Walker, former Unbeige editor, posted the perfect rejoiner:

Now, I don’t write one 1,500 feature a month. I write six or seven or eight stories a month, ranging from 300 to 2,000 words (and, ahem, I don’t always get $2 a word). Even when I was a fledgling–which, I guess, I still am–I was writing more than 1,500 words a month. That meant pitching a helluva lot more stories than I actually landed. And yes, at first, with smaller magazines, hounding people to pay me. But selling 1,500 words a month? More than do-able for a new freelancer.

Hell yes.

Jessica Wakeman, with a day job at the HuffPo, believes in web only.

Jay Busbee says no one reads magazines anyway.

Debbi Mack has our favorite Dr. Johnson witticism as her tagline.

And Daily Intelligencer points out that blogging is a stepping stone to greater things, as Ms. Shafrir knows all too well.

It only matters because the stakes are so small.

Nurse Hillary For President–Randi Rhodes Suspended from Air America


Paul Slansky, who’s much too clever to be writing for free at the Huffington Post, points out that Hillary’s pop culture references are now and forever will be, older than dirt. One of his quotes from the future:

The way some of you people talk about her, you’d think she was Nurse Ratched.

–A red-faced Bill Clinton complaining to reporters about coverage of his wife’s campaign, April 10

The Nurse Ratched comparison has been dogging the former First Lady for decades, as Media Matters found out last winter.

Air America host and stand-up Randi Rhodes, however, called Clinton (and “happy to be back in the news” Geraldine Ferraro) “fucking whores” and promptly got suspended. Ferraro wants her to be fired, like Don Imus.

HuffPo Blogger Weiner Served –Restraining Order at Pellicano Trial


More Pellicano madness–HuffPo blogger Allison Hope Weiner has been covering the trial, and got slapped with a restraining order for posting audio tapes from the trial on the site.

She already was barred from the jail for leaning on her Calfornia State Bar membership to gain access to Pellicano, back when she worked the story for the NY Times. There, she co-wrote a story about reining in the paparazzi. Tricks of the trade.

Taylor Thomson Seeks to Suppress Pamela Miller’s Testimony in Pellicano Trial


In another strange twist at the Pellicano trial, Canadian heiress Taylor Thomson has filed a motion to intervene and suppress the testimony of former nanny Pamela Miller, citing her fears that Miller will “demean and ridicule” her former employer. She also is concerned with how the trial is proceeding– Pellicano is failing to object to “the government’s unceasing introduction of irrelevant, prejudicial and inadmissible evidence”.

The May 2006 issue McLean’s, the Canadian magazine, has the backstory of Ms. Thomson, a member of one of the richest families in the world:

The indictment added to that list lesser figures: Michael Kolesa, the father of Taylor Thomson’s child, and Pamela Miller, her former nanny, as targets in an alleged espionage operation by Pellicano, whose expertise Thomson had relied upon in at least one past court dealing. Taylor has denied authorizing any illegal surveillance.

The family owns part of the Globe and Mail, as well as Thomson Corp., a $28.7-billion global digital media empire administered from Stamford, Conn., with electronic databases in law, health care, science, accounting and education.

Taylor Thomson was a sometime actress and producer, known as Lynne, living in Venice, when she married and divorced Kolsea, and hired Pamela Miller as a nanny for their child, and somewhere along the line, needed the services of Mr. P.

She’s got quite the history of litigation.


Mixed Doubles: Damon and Silverman and Kimmel


Matt Damon and Sarah Silverman took out a full-page ad in Variety to congratulate Jimmy Kimmel on his 1000th episode. And to show how cute Sarah looks in high-WASP clay court drag.

Look for Missing KNXT Footage at KCBS–Tipster

FBLA’s tip box is usually bursting with offers to help us engorge our member or buy a replica Rolex. In response to yesterday’s post about some missing news footage, a reader wrote:

I used to work at Corbis and would have been directly
involved in the research request to find the KNXT broadcast. Corbis
exclusively sales reps KCBS but as far as I know, KCBS owns and vaults it’s own material. In fact, Corbis Motion owns hardly anything
outright, and even what we repped was a sadly small collection. (Got
our butts kicked by the competition.) Shaw may have received a
negative response when he approached Corbis, but this is probably
because KCBS couldn’t find the material or was unwilling to make it

And with all the recent layoffs, KCBS probably doesn’t have anyone who knows how to find the ladies’ room, much less the vault.

This American Life Seeks Newscast of Cryonic Vault Smash-Up