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Media Feuds

Mike Fleming Cautions Those Who Choose Nikki Finke

BartFlemingLogoFor anyone with a granular interest in the Hollywood trades, the latest edition of Mike Fleming and Peter Bart‘s weekly Deadline column is a must-read

Fleming confirms it was his idea to bring Finke back into the Deadline fold. He details how the negotiations with PMC chief Jay Penske fell apart and ends this latest conversation with former Variety boss Bart with a stern warning:

“Since the thrust of her new site seems to be Deadline-bashing, I feel comfortable in making this clear: those who choose to break their news with her will need to be happy with that result. You might get a scant mention, but you’ll find no love here.”

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TCA Board Member Apologizes for Calling Gold Derby ‘Morons’

There were several insults in HitFix TV critic Daniel Fienberg‘s recent tweet about Gold Derby’s Google+ hangout discussion of the Television Critics Association’s annual TV Awards. Fienberg sits on the TCA’s Board of Directors.

Fienberg indicated that he had only made it through seven of the video’s 41 minutes. And he ended his tweet with the all-CAPS insult “Morons.”

Over the weekend, Gold Derby founder Tom O’Neil and some of his colleagues followed up with a second video (at bottom), prompting yesterday this semi-apology from Fienberg:

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VICE Responds to Latest Gawker Broadside

ViceTwitterAvatarThe results are in. And if you’re a member of the VICE PR team, they are not pretty.

Employees of Shane Smith‘s globe-spanning operation were quick to respond to a recent call by Hamilton Nolan and co. for in-the-Brooklyn-trenches feedback. Some of it adds up to anything but Jill Abramson problems:

One intern two years ago was excited to receive a full-time position — until the company offered him a salary of $20K. Employees who have worked there full time within the past two years say that salaries well under $30K are routine for “producers.” (One such producer said that after waiting in vain for more than a year for a raise to push their salary up to $30K, they left VICE last year after seeing executives spend what appeared to be thousands of dollars on drugs for a company party.)

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Former Billboard Editorial Director Points to Egregious Example of ‘Echo Chamber Reporting’

LadyGagaARTPOPOn Monday, BuzzFeed’s Myles Tanzer introduced a whole new audience to Angela Cheng, a pseudonymous music blogger who recently shifted her very questionable act from examiner.com to the URL popmusicgadfly.com.

Entangled in this trail is former Billboard editorial director Bill Werde and industry superstar Lady Gaga. The publication of the BuzzFeed story led Werde to reluctantly chime in via Tumblr and sparked a follow-up post from Cheng on April 1. We’re going to focus on Werde’s post, since it addresses the “Culpability of the Media” and what appears to be some very lazy reporting:

On November 17, 2013, “Sabrina O’Connor” [another mysterious examiner.com blogger byline] posted a story on Examiner.com that claimed Lady Gaga’s Interscope label had spent $25 million to promote her album ARTPOP, which had been released 11 days earlier.

Within days that number had been repeated in seemingly any outlet that could credibly cover such a matter: Business Week; New York magazine; Business Insider. A couple of weeks later, the New York Post published a razor-sharp hatchet job on Gaga, once again, floating the $25 million figure.

(Credit where it’s due: the only outlet I could find that called bullshit, and did it the very next day, was Roger Friedman at Showbiz 411.)

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Anti-Colbert Hashtag Activist Has a New Target: HuffPost Live

Slate political reporter David Weigel provides a good rundown of the #CancelColbert brouhaha spearheaded by 23-year-old freelance writer Suey Park. Some material on Wednesday’s edition, followed by an insensitive tweet from the Comedy Central official stream, led Park to a very effective viral protest.

Now, there’s more trouble brewing. Brought on to HuffPost Live today to discuss all this with Josh Zepps, Park is tweeting up a new storm:

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Gawker Offers VICE a Sincere Mock Apology

GawkerThis is pretty funny. Responding to a weekend interview in The Guardian that relayed some harsh words from VICE co-founder Shane Smith for Nick Denton and co. (“Gawker is a bunch of bitches…”), Hamilton Nolan has posted the following:

CORRECTION TO ALL PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED STORIES:
VICE does not do branded content — rather, it does content sponsored by brands. VICE may also wear some North Face shit, sometimes. We regret any perceived insinuation that VICE is not as cool as VICE would lead you to believe.

In the Guardian interview, Smith said that rather than branded content, VICE sticks to “content sponsored by brands.” In other words, he maintains that the site preserves the integrity of faraway hangs with natives, even when the content appears on the surface to be edging into native advertising territory.

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Harvey Weinstein Takes Guardian Reporter to Task

HadleyFreemanPicFrom California late this morning, The Guardian‘s Hadley Freeman (pictured) has deemed it “The Most Stupid Fight of All Time.” That’s an overstatement, especially when it comes to Hollywood and film awards season.

Still, just ahead of today’s big Oscar ceremony, she is defending herself in the comments of an essay posted to her paper by Harvey Weinstein. The Weinstein Company’s Oscar party was last night at Mastro’s in Beverly Hills. But this item concerns a previous Weinstein celebration thrown at The Rosewood London for the BAFTA Awards, and Weinstein’s contention that had Freeman hung around for the later arrivals, his dancing with Oprah and the killer chocolate chip brownies, her review would have been much more positive. From the first of several Freeman comments:

I confess to being somewhat amazed by Mr. Weinstein’s claim that he has “always enjoyed my articles,” considering he banned me from The Weinstein Company’s party during Oscars week in LA two years ago as well as all the parties for every film in which he’d been involved because, as his vice-president for corporate affairs explained to me repeatedly and at some length at the time, he didn’t like a profile of his company that had run in the paper a month or so earlier, written by the Guardian’s film editor Catherine Shoard

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Kimmel, Damon Log Another Tense Late Night Chapter

As one early YouTube commenter so rightly notes, “OMG, this does not get old!” It also risks upstaging, not by accident, Jay Leno‘s NBC Tonight Show farewell with Billy Crystal and Garth Brooks. Kimmel, called out by Leno in several recent interviews, has not just Matt Damon tonight but also George Clooney, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman and Bob Balaban!

Per the teaser clip above, Kimmel relegates his least favorite The Monuments Men star to a stage-left improvised seating arrangement. One that is brought out after the exasperated host tells Guillermo, “Will you get this baby his chair?”

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Miley Cyrus vs. Sinéad O’Connor Escalates

From an open letter… to legal threats?

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When the 20-year-old version of Miley Cyrus is involved, apparently anything is possible. Billboard reports that Sinéad O’Connor is none too pleased with Cyrus’ insulting, derogatory Twitter reaction to her showbiz advice. So much so that via follow-up open letter, the Irish singer is threatening to take the twerk girl to court over a mocking image-grab of some ancient O’Connor tweets:

“Have you no sense of danger at all? Or responsibility? Remove your tweets immediately or you will hear from my lawyers,” she warns. “Mockery causes deaths. Period. It is an unacceptable form of bullying, no matter who it is doing the bullying.”

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VICE Writer Gets Into Twitter Shouting Match with Corey Feldman

First off, we were not aware that VICE is engaged in the business of allowing some of the people it profiles to get final approval of an article before the piece goes to post. Apparently, that was a condition imposed by actor Corey Feldman on contributor Jamie Lee Curtis Taete, who agreed.

Given this journalistic contract, one would assume that Feldman was thrilled with the resulting coverage of his recent birthday party. Wrongo. As Taete details, the actor went ballistic on Twitter in the aftermath of publication, even going so far as to publish some of the reporter’s personal information. Taete tried to ignore it all, but on Labor Day, Feldman upped the angry ante with a press release. From Taete’s post:

So, to clarify, Corey has falsely accused me of lying, tweeted out my personal phone number, retweeted hundreds of negative comments about me, indirectly accused me of trying to buy drugs in his house, implied I sexually harassed his female friends, implied I sexually harassed him, and then, without any hint of irony, accused me [via press release] of being a bully.

Great job, Corey.

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