Nikki Finke posts a brutal analysis of Variety’s strike coverage, accusing the trade publication and its reporters of printing total falsehoods.
The trade’s Jason Blairs — oh, excuse me, Josef Adalian and Dave McNary — keep inventing stories which purport to show that less than 2 weeks into the strike wither the WGA’s resolve is withering, and/or its writers are going back to work, and/or even its late show iconic hosts are going to double-cross their teams of scribes. Just one problem: those stories are either totally fabricated or highly exaggerated.
[…]First, there was McNary’s article wrongly claiming the WGA was backing off its position on changing on Reality TV. (See my previous, WGAW Says Variety Scoop Has No Reality). Then, there was Adalian’s and McNary’s fabricated story about The Young And The Restless soap opera writers returning to work by opting for "financial core" status with the WGA.
Both stories turned out to be totally false. Variety’s tiny correction on the soap opera story was buried in the back pages a few days later.
My take on this is that Variety’s so-called "reporters" are so used to retyping press releases and passing them off as "reporting" that they have no idea how to actually report a story. So they are simply publishing whatever their studio and networks sources feed them without bothering to do the basic work of a reporter.
But they also have no incentive to do any actual reporting. I know what I am talking about. Twenty years ago, I worked as a reporter for a trade publication. I know the pressure the advertising side exerts on the editorial side. The wall between the two in the trade publication world is very, very thin. By nature, trade publication rely entirely on advertising by the industry they are reporting on, which raises all kinds of ethical issues every single day. The fact is that the editors are under enormous pressure not to piss off the people who keep them in business…and those people aren’t screenwriters.