Brian Stelter has profiled Deadline Hollywood Daily‘s Nikki Finke in an 11.26 N.Y. Times piece because of the huge daily numbers she’s been getting due to her bang-bang Maxwell’s Silver Hammer Writers Strike coverage. Since the strike began Finke “has published 142 posts about it, [has] worked almost around the clock for three weeks, and fallen asleep at the computer four times. She estimated she had received 2,000 e-mail messages a day.”
Finke’s heart is obviously pro-WGA but so what? Good accurate reporting is essential but not enough. If you don’t lay something personal on the line, you’re not earning your page views.
“Finke has repeatedly assailed coverage by other outlets, particularly Variety, for, she maintains, running articles slanted toward the studios’ interests,” Stelter writes.
“‘They have been reporting stories that are fantastical,’ Finke said in an interview. ‘What they are doing is kind of old-fashioned fear mongering.” Stelter writes that “dozens of readers responded to her post, saying they were canceling their Variety subscriptions.
Variety editor Tim Gray said his colleagues are used to criticism. “There is constant noise from bloggers,” he acknowledged, “but we just tend to our business and check our facts.”
“Finke’s criticism of Variety has opened her to accusations that she is siding with the writers. She strongly disagrees, and said she has repeatedly reached out to the studios to include their points of view. As a columnist, Finke expressed opposition to a strike, writing on 10.16 that posting on a labor action is something ‘I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.’
When the strike is over (and if that thing I was told about Pearl Harbor day is half-accurate, it won’t be very long), Finke is probably going to experience a huge emotional comedown. Something along the lines of the feeling that Kirk Douglas explains to Lana Turner in The Bad and the Beautiful: “When I finish a picture, Georgia, a feeling of emptiness comes over me. It’s bad…its gets worse every time. All I know is, I have to be alone.”