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Archives: February 2005

Oscar Night To-Dos

ce.jpgWe’ve all read that nobody’s watching the Oscars on Sunday. And I was just at the Silver Lake Trader Joe’s. Know what I saw? Rows and rows of tortilla chips. And of course, tortilla chip overstock = fewer-than-expected Oscar viewing parties. So, here are a couple alternate suggestions for your Sunday evening.

-Crash the Soho House Oscar Villa. It’s the big round house toward the northern end of Fairfax, visible from Sunset. Shuttles leave from the 8000 Sunset parking structure, but they’re checking names. A FishbowlLA strike team attempted an insertion earlier today but was foiled by an alert cater-waiter. However, a multi-pronged night-time operation could penetrate the perimeter.

-Show up at the home of snubbed Aviator producer Charles Evans with a big bottle of booze. My guess is he’ll be watching.

LAT Prints Editorial By Someone Once Married To a Woman

Kaplan.jpgAnother incident in the Kinsley-Estrich fracas: LAObserved observes that the lead commentary in today’s LAT is written by Martin Kaplan, Estrich’s ex-husband. (Correction: I initially reported that they were currently married.)

Drudge indulges in rare moment of restt

matt.jpgIt happens about as often as as peep-show patron has a sudden change of heart during the good parts, but Fishbowl was here to see it earlier today: Drudge started his day with a splash across the page quoting Pope John Paul II as asking, in apparent alarm, “WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO ME?” after his tracheotomy. Moments later, the screed was rectified to read only “POPE JOKES: WHAT HAVE THEY DONE TO ME?” – which was always the point of the linked story. Perhaps Drudge, whose human sensitivity meter usually seems lower than the water table in Lake Powell in August, got a bell from his red-state buds whose PR gauges are just a tad more alert. To quote Fishbowl’s old editor: Well done, m’boy. Well done.

Nikki Finke- Fastest (Self-Promotional) Draw In the Wild West (Hollywood)

Not half an hour after I posted the previous item, this missive arrived from Nikki Finke in the FishbowlLA and FishbowlNY mailboxes, linking to the Romenesko item about the same Marketwatch story which mentions Finke in passing:

interesting…what a list of b$tches, no?

From: Nikkifinke

To FishbowlLA, FishbowlNY

9:26 am (51 minutes ago)

Waxman: “People wouldn’t talk to me if I was really disliked”

MarketWatch

Jon Friedman says New York Times reporter Sharon Waxman is one of many Hollywood journalists who’ve developed a reputation for toughness. (“The list includes Nikki Finke, Claudia Eller and Anita Busch,” he notes.) Waxman, who left the Washington Post in 2003, tells Friedman: “Now that I’m at the New York Times, people return my calls much more than they did when I was at the Washington Post. If you didn’t have a strong paper behind you, [the critics] would take the ground out from under you.”

Duly noted, Nikki. You are tough.

UPDATE: Finke has asked me to post her response to my posting of her email.

for the record: my comment to you re my posting…

From: Nikkifinke

To: FishbowlLA

Explain to me exactly how it’s self-promotional for me to refer to myself as being on a “list of b$tches.” I believe the definition of that is self-deprecating. Invest in a dictionary. LOL

As it happens, I am saving up for a dictionary. However, it is the position of the Fishbowl family that, in this unfortunate age of irony, self-deprecation and self-promotion can be, and often are, engaged in simultaneously. (And yes, we really did get together as a family and discuss this.)

HST: a numbers appreciation

hunterthompson.jpgAfter Hunter S. Thompson’s suicide last Sunday, we’ve witnessed – as expected – skyrocketing sales of his old classics. To wit: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas shot from # 1,412 on Amazon to # 23 today. Vintage has said they’ll order a “significant” reprinting.

Well, that’s all well and good, but what about these (projected) numbers:

Percentage of people ordering F&L who’ll actually read it: 14.

Percentage of buyers who will display it on their coffee table to get literary street points: 78.

Percentage of readers who think Johnny Depp wrote it, or some of it: 52.

Percentage of reprinted runs in which Douglas Brinkley will write a long foreword: 100.

Percentage of under-30 readers who’ll buy it because they miss Kurt Cobain: 9.

Percentage of over-55 readers who will do so because they miss the Sixties: 96.

Yes, But Those Are Movies

waxman.gif
It’s one of those cliche observations about Hollywood: people here confuse movies with reality and are out of touch with the real world. Today, Marketwatch.com columnist Jon Friedman profiles NYT Hollywood correspondent Sharon Waxman. Here’s Friedman’s idea of local color:

The town can seem like the ego-bashing, backbiting, trash-talking capital of the world. Think “The Player,” in which a studio boss kills a writer with his bare hands, or “Swimming with Sharks,” where a studio executive’s assistant gets revenge on his boss-from-hell by breaking into his mansion, holding him hostage at gunpoint and torturing him.

And don’t forget, Los Angeles is also a futuristic dystopia populated by androids who want to be treated like humans. Or maybe Friedman didn’t rent ‘Blade Runner’ when he was doing background research for the piece.

Indie 103 to Abandon White Fauxhemian Demographic

volume.jpgThe LAT Business section has a piece explaining the issues behind the rumored format shift at Indie 103.1. Sounds like it’s really happening. If this were a crappy ’90s movie about an underground radio station (c.f. ‘Pump Up the Volume’, ‘A Matter of Degrees’) there’d be a grass-roots listener effort to Save The Music. You know, impassioned anti-consumerism monologues, a scrappy pirate radio station set up in the basement of the house of someone’s oblivious parents, etc.

But radio consultant Jeff Pollack, quoted in the Times, hits it on the head:

“People fall in love with the concept of the station,” Pollack said, but he added that “in this era that kind of eclectic music mix is competing with offerings on the Internet and the music collections of people with their own iPods.”

In other words, it’s not necessarily competition from broader-appeal stations like KROQ that’s limiting Indie 103′s growth potential. Instead, it’s the consumption patterns of 103′s intended demographic. Upwardly mobile white people in LA own MP3 players and don’t really need radio. So if you want to save Indie 103, don’t smash the system. Smash your iPod.

How Was the Food in Jail, Jonathan?

In the new LA Weekly, Jonathan Gold makes a rare non-restaurant-related appearance with this write-up of the band Mars Volta. He makes it to the second-to-last paragraph without mentioning food at all until he calls the band’s new album “as indigestible as last year’s fruitcake.”

Elsewhere in the piece, Gold reveals that he was once incarcerated for a weekend for scalping tickets to an Emerson, Lake and Palmer show. Which I guess is slightly less embarrassing than admitting that you actually once attended an Emerson, Lake and Palmer show.

Dammit, That D-Girl Was One Week From Retirement

In the weird analogy department, Defamer links to a Reuters piece in which an unnamed Disney source claims that the post-Weinsteins Miramax will be rolled into the studio and retrofitted into an “elite SWAT team.” No word on how many of the approximately 200 current Miramax employees will be invited to join this SWAT team and how many will be forced to move to small towns where they partner with naive but good-hearted cops and learn important lessons about life.

IOC just loves NYC!

olympics.jpgRest easy, Mike B. For trusty AP today can report that the International Olympic Committee, which was coddled in NYC this week, will leave town with “a very, very good feeling about this bid,” according to IOC boss Peter Ueberroth.

Certainly sounds like a lock to us. The AP even mentions that the IOC lads, who have already gotten the same treatment in London and Madrid, will next go to Moscow and Paris where, surely, no bid will taste as sweet.

Fishbowl suggests the AP try challenging a puff quote and the guy who gave it. Because the IOC bid for New York is hanging in the balance now that the West Side stadium bid has been thrown into turmoil. Paris has better facilities. The Russkies will make their subway run on time. The IOC has been investigated for corruption. And everyone but your reporter knows it.

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