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Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Michael Turmon

NF's piece lays on the criticism way too thick, considering it is very *thin* on facts other than blind quotes from people said to be close to David Geffen. And way too quick with unjustified prognostications. The mutual back-scratch with Drudge seems too strong to ignore -- too bad, some of her columns have been interesting -- at times even an exception to the rule that the Hollywood gossip biz is vacuous and generally overreported. (Thems that know, ain't talking.)

NF scored a point regarding the presence of actors like Cusack on the Huffingblog -- why should anyone care what stars think anyway? Their job, their craft, their talent -- is to project lies onto a media screen, new ones with every movie. (I know people do care -- but why encourage it? ;-) And she's right to point out that a lot of AH's projects have been very PR-heavy.


Eight-million hits is nothing to be sneezed at, even if it reflects a few million "curiousity hits." I was three of those yesterday, but expect that to drop to one today, and zero after that.

The value of the site, to me, is limited and it doesn't seem to offer anything unique or new. The clutter and volume of it looks like my desk on April 15th, and I'm trying to recover from that. All that, however, doesn't discount the knowledge represented by its contributors.

There was one surprise today (okay, I just looked.) Besides the usual attacks on Republicans, the site seems to offer some criticisms and challenges to the left and to the Democrats--ala Marc Cooper. If it offers balanced views, then it might get attention from me while making the left livid and accuse Huffington of disloyalty.

I also learned something new from the site today. There is an article that discusses Bill Clinton's war on fast food. He's a heavy weight and I've watched him eating their lunch for years. Okay, with good information like that, I may look in once a day for a week.

Marc's link is temporarily down, so here's one that works so that Huffington can claim another hundred or so hits from this post.


Yeah, I have to say the articles are more interesting to me so far than the blogs. Though Bill Maher's was pretty funny today, and actually informative, at least for me. But seeing Larry David, Cusack and the other celebs talking about news and linking to articles and such is a little... off. I don't know how else to say it.

Just wanted to say also that this is the first time I'm commenting here, but I've been coming to the site almost every day for a while now. Keep up the informative, challenging work.

Marc Cooper

Thanks Protruson. Please continue to protrude here!

Mark A. York

I thought Nikki's screed was unfair. It must be personal because there really was no basis for it that soon out of the gate. If the HP has to offically review and approve every comment it will mirror Opinionjournal where Taranto makes sure the naysayers are kept at bay for the mostpart. That's not really a free open range discussion.

Mavis Beacon

Finke's article is awful, but then, in my opinion, so is her job. She's nasty and boorish and her only real analysis consists of slamming a couple lightweight Hollywooders. That said, I tend to agree that the blogs don't work - too many different subjects under one roof with no organization. That'd be my big note: figure out a way to organize all the posts so I don't have to sift through all the painful humor pieces and half-baked ruminations about God. At the very least, create a list of authors so I can go straight to Rob Reiner's posts.

Another problem is that the site offers neither the professionalism of Slate/Salon, the relentless single-issue appeal of Talking Points Memo, nor the community feel of, say, Marccooper.com (or BackFence). I'm not sure the appeal of a large swath of diverse posters with various interests, little quality control, and no user filtering mechanism.

Perhaps, she thinks, we'll come for the celebs? Huffington certainly offers celebrities in spades. But people generally want to see celebrities, not read them. If John Cusak is going to succesfully crossover into a sphere defined by WRITTEN COMMUNICATION, he will have to work very hard. Actors have a tough time with this idea because they consider themselves artists. And artists often have really interesting ideas. So why shouldn't they share those ideas with the rest of us? The answer, I think, is that a. Hollywood encourages pretty artists over good ones and b. actors and directors are schooled in a very different communicatory medium. For example, despite Finke's scorn, I think Nichols isn't saying something stupid, he's just not communicating it very well.


Thanks for coming down on Nikki Finke. I can never stand her writing about any subject but got the impression I was alone in this opinion. The Weekly would be far more readable were she kicked to the curb.


"Finke’s piece is really a non-sensical splatter"

Boy, you are *so* off-base here. Nikki Finke's work has never been anything but pure *genius.*


Went to the blog of The Protrusion, nice site, good writing. As a conservative, I don't agree much with it, but he/she says it very well. Go read and enjoy - I did.

Marc, I went to the Huff site and wasn't impressed nearly as much as others may have been. I liked your site much better from the git-go. Too, like others commenting above, I could care less what "celebrities" have to say (and they probably feel the same way about my blog). On the other hand, much of America is infatuated with "celebrity" and that probably accounts for much of the massive number of hits. Either that, or Huffington was doing an awful lot of clicking. ;-)


Wow, thanks for the nice comments about the site. Funny thing - I just went to the Huffington blog again to read Mike Nichols' post to see if I agreed with other comments about it, and I have no idea how to find it. The categorizing certainly needs some work, unless I'm missing something, which is quite possible.


Marc, is it 8 million hits or 8 million visitors? I didn't think anyone relied on hits anymore, and 8 million visitors is much more impressive.

Tom Grey - Liberty Dad

Huff is out the gate "first", though Blogger News Network is also trying to be a new eNewspaper.

There will be groups of top blog/ newspapers. I think that *I* will be happiest in YOUR group, Marc, including Roger (more than Charles, funny).

Editors and rating of who gets top billings will be interesting; and how the customizition by the reader is done. But Arianna's site, as Michelle Malkin says, is likely to be successful.

Jim Rockford

Who cares about David Geffen anyway? Another rich Hollywood liberal, *I* best know him for falsely promising the public access to the beach in Malibu, then fighting the Coastal Commission tooth and nail in court to keep his beach "Private" like every other rich Hollywood phony. Reminds me of Barbara Streisand's 16 page fax urging people to line dry their clothes, or her fight to keep pictures of her lawn runoff into the ocean out of the public domain.

Besides, most Actors succeed based on looks, luck, and the ability to memorize lots of dialogue and interpret it various ways. None of this is related to good, thoughtful writing.

Finke seems to think the absence of David Geffen is a disaster. Which is pretty Hollywood fawning to me. The biggest problem is the lack of interesting people with something to say. If Bill Clinton or Al Gore or Dick Gephardt or Warren Buffet or Tommy Franks or other serious public figures with unique insights were blogging I'd definitely check it out.

As it stands I get more thoughtful pieces from posters here than anything a clueless celebrity, light or heavyweight, could say.

Mark A. York

Yeah all celebrities are clueless since it's so easy to achieve that level of success in America.

richard lo cicero

Blogs, as I see it, are meant to be individual and idiosyncratic views on the events of the day. At best what we have here is a "readers Digest" where a lot of views can be perused. I go to Drudge not because I find his politics to my liking but because of his links to many sites that I can access easily. I really don't know if I want to read the opinions of people on Arianna's website, we shall see. Buy I turn your site Marc, as I turn to KOS or Atrios because I know I'll be informed; I get my Iraq news from Juan Cole because he speaks with authority. And I like the ability to have a dialogue that most blogs provide. I'll keep an open mind on Arianna's site, not as a blog but as another DRUDGE REPORT one-stop.

Josh Legere

Marc - Are you not required to have the least bit of solidarity with Nikki? Man, the Weekly's Xmass party must be a real hoot! Dare I ask what you would get her for a secret santa gift?

Nikki Finke is fairly nutty. Why on earth does she write for the Weekly? Almost all of her columns go off towards Pluto. She seems to be a REAL trainwreck of a person. It seems like that is the appeal. But nobody let her in on it. She seems to be one of those people who came out to La La land and didn't hit it BIG ENOUGH and is real insecure about it. She buys into the shit sandwich while pretending that she doesn't. The Cobrasnake thing needs to go away as well. For gods sake. The Weekly could drop the fashion bullshit (Vanity Fair and 1000 other mags take care of that) and actually cover some local stories.

I think celebrity blogging is a huge mistake. Most of them will come off like bafoons because most celebrities have shallow, underdeveloped views. It will fail ultimately unless they get some solid writers. .

But the idea of a site of blogs is a good idea. If she could only nix hollywood and include some smart writers who deserve the space, her site would work.

Hollywood is the enemy of Progressives as much as it is conservatives. Celebrities are an unelected aristocracy and regular people do and will always resent politics coming from fucking actors (for christ sake).


York writes: "Yeah all celebrities are clueless since it's so easy to achieve that level of success in America."

Yo, Mark, you mean like an actress starring in a movie about a farm, then testifying before congress about farm policy? That level of success... celebs are obviously NOT the only ones that are clueless.


Hey.. atleast this website allows comments. Thats more than Miss Huffington can say about her supposed "blog"
Give me a break!!

Mark A. York

And what sort of expert are you roper?

Reasearch.....Ah yes.

"My personal politics tend to the conservative side of things which to some would mean that I'm a knuckle dragging neanderthal with the intellect of a carrot or in DU parlance a slug. But the reality is that politics is about perception."

Well congratulations that's the impression you gave me. I'd say co-opting celebrities for good causes is useful since the government tends not to listen to little guys like family farmers. Corporate ones sure.

I was referring to the difficult road which I tried to follow into acting success. If you ain't been there pal you don't know jack.


Well Marc - as I said last night in the first post you made about Arianna, not interested in her any longer...she blew me off with her insidious standing right in front of "The Arnold" while trying to push off "The Arnold" ..out of his own press conference in LA, as I recall on the steps of the court house when filing, when he was running for Gov,...though she thought at that time she too was running for Gov as well...a fantasy in her own mind.

....right then and there I thought she was a total ass...wrote her off my list as anything serious to ever come forth in the near future, in terms of politics but not in terms of Entertainment.

I think we are spending tooooooo much time here on YOUR blog, about HER!...or for that fact many others that you post about, including Hitch...though they are all good to some degree...I for one, am only here reading your place,... to see what you think, then drift off to other links you share...if mildly interested.

Again...I am here ONLY here on your blog, to hear your thoughts...not interested in the others, no matter how many millions of hits they get on a new blog.....and Arianna has mass marketing in place so why the surprise?...no doubt your mentioning her the past two days has also helped her numbers.....

So let's concentrate on YOU now for a great long while....take that as it sounds on the surface...a true and honest compliment as we all here are politcally savy...want to hear your thoughts, first last and always......

What say we all here reading my post? Yes to Marc first?...others later....?

Mark A. York

As I said the website allows comments.


"Nikki Finke is fairly nutty. Why on earth does she write for the Weekly? Almost all of her columns go off towards Pluto. She seems to be a REAL trainwreck of a person."

How DARE you impugn the perfection that is Nikki Finke, the most sane, level-headed, perspicacious, and nuanced thinker on EARTH. That's it, I'm off to spam your blog with negative comments.

Jim R

"America is infatuated with "celebrity" and that probably accounts for much of the massive number of hits."

The combination of the imfatuated and the infuriated did it GM. Don't leave out those who want to read what the Hollywood extremists are saying next.

America is thankful they don't know how to use real bombs.

Nikki Finke

Cooper (and all five people who read this blog):
1. Let's first exaqmine your ethics for NOT bothering to tell your readers you do all your so-called weekly political writing in Arianna's living room. Or that your her best-est friend.
2. Try spelling my name right at the very least. It's Nikki, not Nikke.
3.I see you didn't mention at all my reporting that Huffington claimed Geffen was an investor to Hollywood folks when he wasn't.
4. Your personal slam against me (when did tis become about me and not Arianna?) makes you sound like a right-wing attack dog. Pathetic.
5. I recall, yet again, your error-filled LA Weekly column from 1987 "reporting" that, after I worked at the LA Times as a staff writer just two weeks, I was going to be fired by the paper. Oh yeah, you're just a SWELL journalist. I was at the paper for years until I went on book leave.
6. Between Drudge and AOL, the Huffington Post of course received lotsa hits. But I wrote what I felt: it's a colossal failure. I'm paid by LA Weekly to express my opinion. And now almost all the major critics agree with me. (Read Rutten? et al...) Check on the hits in say a few weeks.
7. You dare call me a "gutter-raker"? Tell me, Mark. Where have you ever worked besides LA Weekly? I'm a former AP foreign correspondent in Moscow and London, Newsweek correspondent in Washington DC and Los Angeles, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, West Coast Editor for the New York Observer and then New York Magazine, etc. Get your facts straight before you make baseless accusations like that. Having strong opinions like I do, sourcing those opinions with accurate journalism, and expressing them literately, does not make me a "gutter-raker." It makes me a columnist with better bonafides than you.
8. That you never bothered to tell me what you were going to atack me personally shows what a spineless coward you really are.
9. As a columnist, you're lazy and boring.
10. Your professional jealousy is showing. You might want to get help for that.

Nikki Finke

ugh, typos and spelling and grammatical mistakes in above. happens when i write too quickly. but even you get the point.

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