Dretzka on Bernie

Gary Dretzka at Movie City News examines the Bernie Weinraub question and the new Los Angeles magazine piece -- as well as journalism about Hollywood -- in a column that is inspired and informed by his years toiling for publications that don't always get their calls returned.

As a former correspondent for the Chicago Tribune, and a freelancer for other publications of substance, I can attest to the fact that covering Hollywood for any other daily publication than the NYT, LAT, Wall Street Journal and the trades (USA Today, too, if one takes into account access to celebrities) can be a chore best described as Sisyphean. Itís not that we merely get lied to all the time Ė everyone does Ė itís that the studiosí marketing departments have made it their job to make us feel as if weíre inherently inferior to reporters who work for those publications, and, like the junket press, merely another cog in the star-maker machinery.

Publicists accomplish this by not returning phone calls and routinely denying reasonable requests for access to filmmakers, actors and executives, unless it fits their marketing strategy. (Nothing personal; itís strictly business. Independent publicists do a much better job for their clients.)

In the course of his piece, Dretzka praises Romenesko for linking to the Los Angeles magazine story -- and rightly so. I go to Romenesko several times a day. But just for the record, as they say, Dretzka could have gotten the highlights of the Weinraub piece 36 hours earlier here at L.A. Observed.

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