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Page Six, Media Ethicist

wadler.jpgDefamer spots another instance of Page Six getting all up in arms about being played by an industry spinner. Unlike last time, however, it (They? He? What’s the correct pronoun for a newspaper column?) has a point, sort of:

WHO’S the biggest liar in Hollywood? We nominate Nancy Kirkpatrick, the head of public relations for Paramount. Last year, we rang and said Sherry Lansing was stepping down as head of Paramount. Kirkpatrick denied it. Lansing then announced her resignation. We then called and said, “We hear Sherry isn’t going to finish out her contract and will be gone by the end of the year.” Kirkpatrick denied it. Lansing left and was replaced by Brad Grey early this year. We next called and said Paramount Pictures president Donald Deline was leaving. Kirkpatrick so strenuously denied it, she offered to get Grey and Deline on the phone, even though we pointed out there was no way either of them would admit Deline was leaving. She also denied producer Scott Rudin was off for Sony, saying he “has two years left on his contract.”(Hey, didn’t Lansing have two left when they canned her?) Kirkpatrick was so passionate in all of her denials we actually believed her– and then we had to read our scoops in the trades. Hey, Nancy — from now on, don’t expect to hear from us. Lie to some other column.

Hey Page Six, there’s a saying: fool me once, shame on you; fool me four times, I’m a little slow. Not that FishbowlLA endorses corporate publicity spin. But for a journalist to complain about it in print is like a baseball pitcher grousing that the mound is too far from the plate. Or something like that. It’s just part of the playing field.

Meanwhile, Sherry Lansing herself engages in some spin control with NYT gossip columnist Joyce Wadler:

What does Ms. Lansing think of all the turmoil at Paramount? (BRAD GREY, who is of course the new chairman, just recruited GAIL BERMAN, who was of course at Fox Entertainment.) “I wish everybody the best,” Ms. Lansing said a little haltingly and laughed.

At intermission, when we found ourselves together again, she said it again. “Make sure you got that part about wishing everybody the best,” Ms. Lansing said.

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