David Carr has confirmed to me he’s reprising his Red Carpet role as “The Carpetbagger” for The New York Times this Oscar season beginning in early November. The blog will appear after the NYT‘s annual holiday movie issue is published. Intended to supplement the paper’s news coverage of the Academy Awards, Carr, a Times culture reporter and media columnist, penned a very personal, rather informal and somewhat uninformed blog but, at the end, predicted correctly that Crash would win Best Picture. (So did I — way back last January — but who’s keeping score, right?) Meanwhile, Tom O’Neil tells me the Los Angeles Times keeps expanding “The Envelope”, its embarrassingly fanboy 24/7 awards website feature that includes lots of Oscar-related blogs and news. There will be weekly Envelope inserts into the LAT about the Oscar derby starting in early November. Plus, ads for The Envelope are running in many Los Angeles theaters right before films screen. (Some may go beyond LA, too.) I also hear The Envelope may keep a running scorecard based on various Oscar gurus’ opinions. All I can say is, ENOUGH! It’s a shame this stuff has to start so early — see today’s LAT article It’s That Time Already? — because by the time the actual awards broadcast rolls around, everyone is sick to death of all things Oscar. But both newspapers have found this Oscar puffery to be a potentially lucrative way to drum up more web traffic and advertising — even though it’s often at the expense of good journalism. I find it demeans both papers. And then there’s that cottage industry among blogs that make Oscar predictions ad nauseum beginning in July in order to get an early jump on revenue from the movie studios. Stop the insanity, especially when the vast majority of Academy members don’t even start viewing DVDs until Christmas. (Mea culpa, I myself raised the Oscar issue over the weekend in a news roundup of Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto, but as usual I was pissing on Oscar voters, not praising them. The bulk of my Oscar coverage starts in January.)
NY/LA Times Re-Commit to Oscar Puffery
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