Finke To Goldstein: Do The Write Thing

Patrick, you and I are longtime pals. We like each other personally. But professionally we usually find ourselves on the opposite sides of the Hollywood spectrum. You rarely write about a mogul or exec you don’t like. I rarely write about a mogul or exec I like. You think the movie business is about art. I think the movie business is about money. Usually, we coexist peacefully. But not this week. Not after that venomous screed you wrote in the Los Angeles Times yesterday berating Patric Verrone as if he’s to blame for all the ups and downs of the pre-strike and post-strike negotiations when certain moguls showed themselves to be lying scum only pretending to bargain in order to embarrass the WGA leadership in the eyes of members (a ploy which didn’t work). Have you not been reading what I’ve written these many months? Have you not been doing your own reporting? Or do you just transcribe what the CEOs tell you? Yes, I know that, as a former music writer, the Grammys are important to you. But to have that one issue color your thinking to such a degree that you can only see the DGA deal through rose-colored glasses is a sell-out to writers who have spent months striking to expand their residual system to New Media so future generations can benefit. This is their fight. Not yours. Not mine.

Worse, you have the effrontery to compare Verrone to Yasser Arafat. On what planet? I’ve actually covered world issues as a foreign correspondent for AP and Washington correspondent for Newsweek as well as reported on labor issues around the world, and I would never dream of comparing Hollywood strike talks to Mideast negotiations. Your journalism background is showbiz. Do you really feel qualified to express such an uninformed international affairs opinion as that?

I also find it incomprehensible why you are pushing the WGA to accept the DGA deal on the grounds that it’s a “good” deal. Good for whom? These are two different guilds with two different agendas. What might be right for one could also be wrong for the other, as it is in this case. Tonight, I’ll opine about the DGA deal and how Verrone et al might use it as a basis for a quick settlement. But the reality is that’s possible if, and only if, the moguls will stop punishing the scribes for striking in the first place. You are wrong to even suggest that in this struggle the WGA is bullying. That’s the well-documented tactic of the Big Media corporations. So don’t blame one side without trashing the other, too. You and I are veteran journalists: we both know facts are more important than opinion. Stop shilling.

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