Variety editor-in-chief Peter Bart uses today's column to say he doesn't think much of The Envelope, the L.A. Times' effort to take Oscar campaign ads away from the trades. He writes (down in column):
The sole purpose of the section in print and online is to corral Oscar ads. The Times tells advertisers that voting members of the Academy will receive copies of the section and presumably also have access to the Envelope.com.
The Envelope, to be sure, exhibits an oddly split personality. On the one hand, its purpose is to create -- indeed, inflame -- Oscar buzz, but much of what passes for editorial content casts a skeptical eye on the very process it covers....
On the other hand, The Envelope also runs curmudgeonly stories by the likes of Patrick Goldstein. One of his pieces was headlined "The buzz biz busted." In it he warned: "That noise you hear from your computer is the sound of insiders' insiders creating their own Oscar hype."
Reviewing the various bloggers who deal in "Oscar hype," Goldstein said his "favorite Tom O'Neil headline is, 'Did Oscar break up Reese and Ryan?' "
One year ago Goldstein declared that Oscar predictions are a "demeaning, nauseatingly superficial ritual."
Come off it, Patrick. You like all that Oscar hype. Otherwise, how could your newspaper lure potential ad buyers and thus pay your salary?