After my earlier post about how Nikki Finke’s website has been diluted by her recent hires, I fielded emails all day from people saying, “Have you heard from Nikki?”
“Not her style,” I said. “She’ll wait 36 hours and then take a shot at me and/or Variety.”
It’s hell being right all the time.
Finke waited almost exactly a day, then took a gratuitous swipe at me and my bosses at Variety in the context of Todd McCarthy getting a new gig. For starters, I’m thrilled for Todd — someone I worked with for more than 15 years, and who I’ve always admired and respected. I hope this works out for him.
As for the part about me, I don’t really feel the need to defend myself — and why get into a hissing contest with a snake? — other than to say that the figure Finke cavalierly tosses out regarding my salary is wildly off base, unless I’m being paid in Euros or some other foreign currency. But hey, never mind, I’m sure she’ll fix the figure, sort of the way she changes time-stamps to make it look like she’s actually broken news.
The funny part is that when I was at the L.A. Times, Finke used to call me periodically and tell me how terrific I was — in contrast to all the “useless” people who I worked with there — and then of course try to pump me for dirt about them. Maybe she’s carrying a long-simmering grudge because I didn’t fall for the phony compliments and dish about my co-workers.
Or maybe my earlier post hit a little too close to home, and it’s starting to dawn on her that Jay Penske’s money came with lengthy strings attached. All I know is that I hope Mike Fleming and Nellie Andreeva have the patience of Job, and firm long-term contracts.
And I hope they’re more committed to accuracy than their boss.
More Finke Follies: Three people messaged me to say that they tried to post comments saying nice things about me on Deadline (thanks, not necessary, but thanks), and Finke refused to publish them.
This, again, is another one of Finke’s decidedly non-journalistic attributes: An unwillingness to allow for the presence of dissenting opinions that might challenge her worldview. It’s a bit like Jon Stewart’s criticism of Fox News advancing “a narrative,” and filtering out any information that doesn’t buttress it.
On the site, Finke states, “Comments On Deadline Hollywood are monitored. So don’t go off topic,
don’t impersonate anyone, don’t get your facts wrong, and don’t bore me.”
And of course, don’t dare disagree with the diva.