A simply stated counter view to Armond White‘s vitriolic rant appears in a New York Times discussion forum called “Do The Oscars Undermine Authority?” The author is Christopher Rosen, who writes about television and movies for the New York Observer, and who has a personal blog called “42 Inch Television.”

“No matter how meaningless you think the Oscars are, one thing is abundantly clear: their existence promotes film like no other platform.

“There was much consternation after the Academy Awards expanded their Best Picture roster from five nominees to 10. But whether it was done so studios could make more money or so the Oscars could get more viewers (after all, the decision seemed solely based on the exclusion of The Dark Knight from last year’s Best Picture race), the end result has been overwhelmingly positive. Would barely seen films like An Education or A Serious Man be in the national conversation right now if they weren’t included among the 10 nominees?

“And then there’s The Hurt Locker. With a domestic box office total of just over $12 million, Kathryn Bigelow‘s film grossed less than the 14th weekend of James Cameron’s Avatar. Heck, it even grossed less than the opening weekend of The Crazies. But here it is, one of the two most talked about movies of the year (oddly enough, in competition with the biggest movie ever, James Cameron’s behemoth, Avatar).

“The Oscars are the reason this is even possible. A better celebration of film artistry has yet to be discovered.”