Watchers of Movie City News‘ front page may have noticed that David Poland has removed the link to Hollywood Elsewhere (which he always called “Jeffrey Wells”) from the Columnist links and has placed me under the Gossips, alongside Nikki Finke, Mark Ebner and Rush & Molloy.
No slight to the aforementioned (they’re all stand-up pros), but David seems to have shifted me out of the Columnist category (where my link has been sitting since ’02) because I’ve changed the HE format to emphasize the bloggy shorter-item stuff on top of my twice or thrice-weekly features, and — take this to the bank — because Poland is doing another one of his judgmental Rabbi Dave slapdowns, which are part of his basic M.O.
It’s an arbitrary call. Anne Thompson‘s RiskyBiz blog, which does pretty much the same thing as Hollywood Elsewhere (minus the colorings of my personality and the supplantings of her own, of course), is still listed among MCN’s Columns. Like Anne does with her regular Hollywood Reporter “Risky Business” column, I still run longish features except usually twice weekly (and sometimes even thrice) in addition to the short stuff.
Nothing has changed in terms of the longer pieces I’ve always done. And as Poland well knows, thousand-word dig-down pieces along the lines of, say, the new Taschen book about Roman Polanski or a coming indie superplex from Landmark or an explanation why the Snakes on a Plane cool factor is over are not commonly seen on Ebner’s or Rush & Molloy’s columns, or on Defamer or Page Six.
I’ve thrown stuff out there from time to time because it was “out there” and part of the hurly-burly and therefore allowed for a dissection of some kind, but I’ve never thought of what I write as gossip. HE has always been a kind of X-factor thing, but it’s mainly been about reporting, trend-spottings, early calls, straight reviews and attitude-personality. My point (and it’s okay to disagree) is that HE’s new MCN category has as much to do with David Poland’s high horse and that little chunk of broomstick lodged in his posterior cavity as anything else. This also has a little bit to do with it also, I think. And also this.