LA Weekly "Deadline Hollywood" columnist Nikki Finke predicts via email that the New York Times will publish a first story on Graydon Carter and his supposed Hollywood conflicts Friday or Saturday, hoping to beat the L.A. Times into print. Writes Finke:
Bill Keller is so crazed about NOT being beaten by the LA Times on this Graydon Carter story that he has his staff rushing out a story within the next 12 or 24 hours! The staff is planning to do several stories on this and not just one big article. For days now, the NY Times has been chasing down the rumors of what the LA Times may be investigating about Carter but didn't have much success. Finally, this afternoon, the New York Times made some headway, at least enough to rush out a story. The LA Times is still on track for Monday.
Her coverage did not get included in this week's LA Weekly, which is a special issue about cars and driving. She's been filing web-only reports here about the LAT and NYT, then the Wall Street Journal, being out reporting competitive stories on the Vanity Fair editor. In the comments at LAO's previous post on this, Movie City News editor David Poland says, essentially, so what?
* Drudge Report outing: As the first commenter on this post points out, the exact text of Finke's email has turned up on Drudge tonight as a "sources told Drudge" item. So either she sent it to Drudge and his site ripped her off (oops, I mean neglected to mention her), or Drudge grabbed it from here and didn't mention either source. Par for the course with Drudge, it seems. (The same text later showed up on Defamer, fully credited to Finke).
** In any case, Finke was right: David Carr and Sharon Waxman have a piece in Friday's New York Times [not in the L.A. edition..only in NYC--Ed.] reporting that Carter got $100,000 from Universal and Brian Grazer for suggesting that A Beautiful Mind be made into a film. Says UC Berkeley professor Cynthia Gorney, "Vanity Fair has been blurring the lines for some time. But there is something particularly distressing about the nice round figure of $100,000 and the fact that it directly lined Mr. Carter's pocket." The NYT piece contends that Grazer has received particularly gracious treatment in the magazine. Former VF writer Ann Louise Bardach is also quoted on the magazine's recent obsession with Hollywood.
*** The L.A. Times also rushed into print Friday with a story built around Carter's $100,000 payment for A Beautiful Mind. The LAT turns to former Esquire and New York editor Ed Kosner for the requisite tsk tsk. Neither story is very deep, but at least neither paper has to fret they got beat on a hot Hollywood media story. Too bad for the rest of us -- the stories probably would have been richer with another day or two of reporting time. Thanks a lot, Nikki!
(Last edited 1:30 a.m. Friday)