FishbowlDC TVNewser TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser GalleyCat SocialTimes

Posts Tagged ‘Rick Polito’

George Takei’s Beloved Facebook Status Takes Temporary Hit

Wired reporter Ryan Tate has a solid recap of the Facebook mini-scandal involving George Takei. In case you missed it, many were shocked by Colorado-based author and gag writer Rick Polito‘s revelation to Jim Romenesko last Thursday that he is getting paid to provide Takei with humorous Facebook material.

The Star Trek alum has made previous reference to social media outsourcing on The Howard Stern Show and in his book Oh Myyy!: There Goes the Internet. But predictably, the Romenesko item sparked much larger media fallout. The good news for Takei is that – per the final paragraph of Tate’s Wired item – damage is likely to be extremely temporary:

Disillusioned fans, however many there are, seem likely to come around. One devoted follower, to whom the writer of this article happens to be married, reacted Thursday to news of a ghost-joker by saying, “I feel cheated!” Given the opportunity the following day to suggest a tough interview question for Takei, she added, “Just tell him he’s awesome.”

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Middle Grade Novel Writing

Middle Grade Novel WritingStarting January 15, work with a literary agent to write your middle-grade novel! In this course, you'll learn how to develop strong characters, write compelling dialogue, master the art of revision, and market your work to publishing houses and agents. Register now!

How Reddit Stole a Colorado Journalist’s Wizard of Oz Thunder

Friday was another bittersweet day for Rick Polito. Actor George Takei posted a screen grab on Facebook of the Boulder, CO freelance journalist’s hilarious bygone Wizard of Oz gag synopsis. However, because Takei sourced a Reddit user’s errant crop job, tens of thousands of people initially liked and shared an item that attributes the summary to the wrong guy: the late Lee Winfrey. (To Takei’s credit, this morning he added “Credit: Rick Polito.”)

Jay Leno first quoted Polito’s 1998 synopsis on The Tonight Show a decade ago. When the talk show host revisited the same material for a “Headlines” segment in late October, a Reddit user launched the synopsis on its merry viral way. With Polito’s name as the source author cut out. (It was visible on Leno, although somewhat cryptically, the attribution reads: ‘Inquirer Television Writer Lee Winfrey and Rick Polito of Universal Press Syndicate contributed to this report.’)

“Part of what bothers me is that both times, Leno presented this as a mistake in the newspaper, when obviously it’s a joke that I wrote,” Polito tells FishbowlLA via telephone. “My Marin Independent Journal TV column was syndicated at the time to the Philadelphia Inquirer and other newspapers.”

Jim Romenesko was the first to point out the viral mistake. “Romenesko did his homework,” Polito explains. “He called me up on that Friday [October 26] and then FishbowlLA picked up on it, as did Gawker, BuzzFeed, Entertainment Weekly and some other places.”

Read more

The Best Wizard of Oz Synopsis Ever Written

The above synopsis of The Wizard of Oz was written by Rick Polito in 1998, when he was a journalist for the Marin Independent Journal. The picture just went viral when someone posted it on Reddit.

Polito tells Jim Romenesko that he is doing some freelancing, but is otherwise an “unemployed dad.”

Someone hire that man.

Internet Catches Up to TV Critic’s Cheeky Wizard of Oz Synopsis

Fifteen years after being recognized in the LA Times by Roy Rivenburg as the “TV Listing of the Week,” a brief Wizard of Oz plot synopsis is getting a major new round of props thanks to Reddit and Imgur.

Jim Romenesko tracked down the author of the Kansas-busting logline, Rick Polito, who now resides in Boulder, Colorado and juggles a little freelancing with a lot of stay-at-home-dad duties. Polito wrote the cheeky summary during his years as TV critic for the Marin Independent Journal:

“It was just on Leno, it was a clue in a crossword puzzle, it showed up in Playboy, and people use it as their email signatures. Someday, I’m going to walk down the street and see it on a T-shirt and punch the person who’s wearing it,” he jokes.

Read more