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Anonymous Hollywood Assistant Hits Tumblr Bull’s Eye

To mark the recent Cinco de Mayo holiday, it would have made sense for this particular show business aspirant to drown their overworked and underpaid sorrows with straight rows of Tequila shots. Instead, they opted for the cheaper and longer-lasting buzz of Tumblr blog HollywoodAssistants.

What’s great about this excellent new diversion is that it does not swim with the snark. Rather, the author uses a drier, droll sense of humor to meme-capture the highs and lows of an overworked Hollywood assistant’s daily rote.

“I was formerly an agency assistant at one of the big four,” the operator of HollywoodAssistants tells FishbowlLA via email. “Now I am an assistant elsewhere in the industry, but I can’t reveal where in order to remain anonymous.” Although this person also refused to tell us if they are male, female or transgender, we’re guessing – based on this, and this – that HollywoodAssistants is a her.

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Patch Executive Declares Company the Nation’s ‘Most Significant Media Organization’

Several Bay Area Patch sites received a total of nine San Francisco Peninsula Press Club Awards over the weekend, prompting Chief Content Officer Rachel Feddersen to triumphantly declare via email that Patch.com was “the most significant media organization in the nation, bar none.”

Jim Romenesko then published Feddersen’s email, prompting the rest of us to wonder what she’s been smoking.

That isn’t to say that AOL’s network of hyperlocal websites hasn’t produced good work, or that its Bay Area journalists didn’t deserve those press club awards. We’re happy for our NorCal colleagues. But we’re pretty sure they’d rather have Pulitzers. And work for the New York Times.

Full memo at JimRomenesko.com

Renegade Scientologist Turns Down the National Enquirer

Guy Adams, LA-based correspondent for UK’s The Independent, recently traveled to Texas to interview Marty Rathbun. The resulting article made it clear why this former high-ranking (and now self-proclaimed “independent”) Scientologist has become such a thorn in the side of the Church since publicly resurfacing in 2009:

His blog, Moving on Up a Little Higher, gets around 10,000 hits a day. It has been visited a total of six million times, is credited with encouraging scores of former Scientologists to quit, and has broken a string of sensational news stories about the Church, including film director Paul Haggis‘ resignation, in 2010, and January’s decision by Debbie Cook, a senior member of Church clergy, to quit in protest at what she called its “extreme” fundraising. Almost every former Scientologist I have spoken with checks it daily.

True to form, Rathbun has shared another dramatic post today. He reveals a recent email exchange with Belinda Robinson, a reporter for the National Enquirer, during which he was offered $20,000 to spill his Tom Cruise auditing-session secrets. Rathbun had zero interest in the payola journalism pitch, but he does use it as an opportunity to link to some older pieces and warn the actor:

As the recent email cycle between a National Enquirer “journalist” and myself clearly demonstrates, you have nothing to fear from me or the independent Scientologist community. As a matter of well-demonstrated fact, we have your back. As the referenced posts above clearly demonstrate you have every reason to continue to distance yourself from [David] Miscavige (any perceived “leadership” abilities notwithstanding) and corporate Scientology…

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Hollywood Trades, Meet Your Brand New Watchdog

The operator of the cheeky new Blogspot page Trade Fools wishes to remain “anonymous on all fronts.” Which is fine by us. It worked for Mark Lisanti during the earliest days of defamer.com and doesn’t seem to have hurt the media profile of that Crazy Days and Nights dude either.

The site is a solid work-in-progress. For example, items like today’s “Whitney Houston Reality Crap: Who Had It First?” need to do more than simply note which mouth of the four-headed beast was quickest to the content buffet.

On the other hand, the poll question on the right-hand margin is pretty funny and a May 9 item shared some good info about Deadline contributor Don Groves. All told, Trade Fools is a welcome addition to the Hollywood-centric blogosphere.

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Today’s Top Mediabistro Links

  • Warren Buffett considers rescuing more newspapers – FishbowlNY
  • Tom Brokaw has harsh words for what’s become of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner – FishbowlDC
  • ‘The Dictator’ mocks Ryan Seacrest, Ann Curry and Matt Lauer on ‘Today’ – TVNewser
  • Morgan Spurlock and friends launch commercial production company – AgencySpy
  • 5 free sites to help journos build online portfolios – 10,000 Words

Today’s Top Mediabistro Links

  • California credits Facebook with 1,400% increase in organ donors. AllFacebook
  • Hunger Games, The Help, and other literary adaptations land MTV Movie Award nominations. GalleyCat
  • The Fox News mole is shopping around a memoir. TVNewser
  • Warner Brothers to sell classic film scripts as eBooks. AppNewser
  • Publishing powerhouse Time Inc. had a lousy first quarter. FishbowlNY

LA Observed Gets a Redesign

The influential local media website unveiled a sharp new look early this morning. There have been a few overhauls since Kevin Roderick first started LA Observed in 2003, but he calls this “the big one.”

Roderick is abandoning the typical blog format of putting the most recent content at the top of the page and turning the homepage into more of a typical front page, where relevance dictates story hierarchy. Roderick is also giving more room on the homepage to other bylines, a much-needed shift as the site’s roster of impressive contributors keeps growing. Steve Harvey recently brought his popular “Only in LA” column to LA Observed, and arts writer Barbara Isenberg has just joined the site.

Roderick warns that there’s still some rough edges that need to be smoothed. He writes, “Please remember that the redesign, like everything about LA Observed, is a work in progress.”

Gonzo Blogger Offers Tips to USC Journalism Students

On his Lost Angeles WordPress bio page, USC alum Zack Jerome bypasses the usual Pro forma descriptions. Instead, he refers to himself as everything from “Los Angeles’ premiere whiskey punk and existentially drunken blogger” to “like Don Draper, but bourbon, not rye.”

The one-time LAist.contributor and recipient of a 2011 Most Valuable Blogger Award from CBSLA was back at his Alma Mater yesterday for a Director’s Forum presentation sponsored by the Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism. Per a report in the Daily Trojan, Jerome raised the specter of, arguably, the patron saint of first-person blogging:

As a self-proclaimed believer in Gonzo journalism, a style of journalism that does not claim objectivity, Jerome supports outlets for the reporter to be part of the story, which allows him to write freely. “What won’t go away is the human need to connect,” Jerome said. “It’s a gift to have writers people want to read.”

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A Strange Hollywood Blog Story Grows Stranger

Over the weekend, New York Post reporter Maureen Callahan shared a fairly sizable Hollywood scoop: an interview with “Enty,” the pseudonymous operator of showbiz gossip blog Crazy Days and Nights (CDaN). In recent weeks, the site has received a lot of coverage because of the Robert Downey Jr. identity-claims made by commenter “Himmmm.”

Callahan’s article was published April 1, leading a number of observers to speculate that the piece is a joke. More precisely, that the interview did properly occur but was a vehicle for misinformation. Sure enough, after vetting the details given to her by this alleged 43-year-old wills and probate attorney, Callahan came to the following conclusion:

Nearly everything Enty says doesn’t check out… It all indicates that Hollywood and the media have been punked – duped by a soft-spoken probate lawyer with delusions of grandeur. And he’s only getting bolder, accusing aging and dead stars of a rape, murder, pedophilia.

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Booting Up Beauty Vlogger Boot Camp

The judges, Elle Fowler and Blair Fowler, have racked up more than 350 milllion views on YouTube. The ten contestants, all aspiring fashion video bloggers, hope to claim a prize package of clothes, accessories, cash and their own slot at ulookhaute.com.

Welcome to Beauty Vlogger Boot Camp, a weekly online reality competition that officially kicked off today with the gang facing the “insane” task of putting together a full face without a mirror.

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