Yesterday, Variety let loose a trio of incensed stories -- one by editor-in-chief Peter Bart himself -- directed at the "toxic bloggers" who are just ruining journalism and the Internet with their "vitriol," "personal vendettas," and "Toldja!" mentalities. But despite the trade's hilarious photo-illustration which calls out such snarky blogs as the Drudge Report and the New York Post (?), all three pieces seem completely directed at Deadline Hollywood Daily's Nikki Finke.
Cynthia Littleton tackles head-on the terror inflicted upon the world at large by feuds among film-industry blogs, with special attention, of course, to Nikki Finke's battles with Sharon Waxman, Patrick Goldstein, and Dave Poland.
Mike Fleming attacks bloggers in general for their lack of compassion and reckless disregard for the traditional standards of journalism or something, we think (we were high and drunk when we read it), but slams Finke personally for once deleting a post and, later, publishing another one "debunking a rumor that she had started." Also, Fleming says that during the writers' strike, Finke failed to take into account the frustration of screenwriters, "who were cash-poor, with lucrative assignments out of reach because of a strike they didn't believe in."
And finally, under the headline "Hollywood's Blog Smog," Peter Bart attacks Internet writers for their snarky tone and susceptibility to being taken in by evil anonymous sources with axes to grind. Then he recommends that Nikki Finke attend charm school:
Folks ask me from time to time to rate individual bloggers. Since I know many of them personally, and like them on a personal level, I resist those evaluations. Nikki Finke is a case in point: I admire her energy and dedication. She is a gifted news junkie. What I don't like is her dissing of fellow news gatherers, her personal vendettas and her use of intimidation. She once attended Miss Hewitt's classes in New York, which taught upscale girls how to be warm and cuddly. I'd like her to take a warm-and-cuddly refresher course.
Even though we ourselves are "toxic bloggers", we'll certainly concede that many of Variety's points are valid ones. But it does seem a little weird that they'd use so much energy building a case around what's essentially a three-headed attack on just one person (a person who's gleefully reported the trade's financial troubles and scooped them recently on several major stories). That's like something a blog would do!