You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Though Vanity Fair columnist James Wolcott has praised me in the recent past, he defends George Clooney and disses me in the July issue (not online). Branding me an “egotist” for my audacious claim that George sans ensemble is box office poison, Jim writes: “On Oscar night, entertainment-biz reporter Nikki Finke, liveblogging the event at Deadline Hollywood Daily, joined … the ranks of the unimpressed. ‘This red carpet frenzy over George Clooney is inexplicable. Truth time: the only movie he’s starred in that’s been successful at the box office was an ensemble piece (Ocean’s Eleven, its sequel Ocean’s Twelve). The $$$ total from his Oscar films barely equals what he spends on tooth floss. Good Night, and Good Luck was historically inaccurate. And he’s not aging gracefully, to put it mildly. (He hasn’t lost that baby weight yet.)’ By baby weight, I assume she meant the paunch he put on to play the Bob Baer protagonist in Syriana, and I got the impression that most viewers thought he looked pretty damned good in his tux. Finke’s comment was evidence that Clooney’s non-fans were losing their grip on reality and reaching for reasons to gripe.”
Jeez, Jim, if that semi-inocuous celeb insult offended you, then don’t read me when I’m being really mean-spirited. The gist of his column is to villify conservative pundits for complaining that Clooney embodies the smarmy liberal ethos of elitist Hollywood. Problem is, Wolcott knows I’m a card-carrying liberal (for chrissakes, aren’t I a columnist for knee-jerk LA Weekly?), so he can’t lump me in with right-wing goons like Charles Krauthammer and John Podhoretz. I’m not angry, by any means: I’m amused. Especially because, back on March 7, Wolcott praised me online at his VanityFair.com blog under the headline, “Lest We Forget”: “In mourning the death of Dana Reeve, we shouldn’t allow amnesia to erase the cruel insult committed against the memory of her husband’s suffering by the party in power. Nikki Finke in her new blog Deadline Hollywood Daily provides the bitter reminder.” Jim, I’ll take the good with the bad and call us even.