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Paramount Denial Leads to Immaculate Re-Conception of Variety Headline

ShutterstockRussellCroweHWoF_FeaturedIt’s one of the oldest tricks in the digital journalism playbook. Adjust the headline without letting readers know that such an adjustment has been made.

At press time, there is no Editor’s Note or Correction to indicate that a March 17 item by Variety New York film editor Ramin Setoodeh was originally headlined “Pope Cancels Tentative ‘Noah’ Meeting With Russell Crowe (EXCLUSIVE).” From a related report in The Hollywood Reporter:

Although Crowe had hoped to meet Pope Francis at the Pontiff’s weekly gathering in St. Peter’s Square, Paramount Pictures is denying a report that the Vatican canceled a planned meeting.

“A meeting was never scheduled,” a Paramount spokesman said. A story posted today by Variety ran under the headline: “Pope Cancels Tentative ‘Noah’ Meeting With Russell Crowe.” The original headline did not include the word “Tentative,” which was added after the studio objected.

Is this on the level of a Noah whoa? Not quite. Per the THR item, Crowe had been lobbying for a March 19 papal powwow, with Paramount separately stepping back from any such efforts when the Vatican expressed immediate concerns about the logistical and security ramifications of a Hollywood star drop-by. Veni, vidi, whoopsie.

[Photo of Crowe at 2010 Hollywood Walk of Fame induction ceremony: Joe Seer/Shutterstock.com]

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Where Did All Those @Variety Twitter Followers Come From?

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