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Online Film Critic Harry Knowles: Hollywood-Savvy or Simply Seduced?

October 01, 2000

I thoroughly enjoyed the Harry Knowles article, but I think that a few observations are off the mark ("The Trouble With Harry," by David Weddle, Sept. 3). Weddle implies that Knowles' reviews are biased in favor of movies whose directors or producers offer him VIP treatment. It seems to me that those who think they can benefit the most are extending invitations to him, hence the leaning toward good reviews. It's simply a matter of Hollywood reacting the best way it knows how--by schmoozing.

As for the all-beauty-no-brains state of entertainment reporting today, I feel it has a lot more to do with entertainment conglomerates' owning media outlets rather than the ability of mainstream journalists. I'm sure a priority of all producers and publishers who are beholden to the media giants is to protect the hand that feeds them.

Stephen Stone

Santa Fe Springs

*

The notion that Knowles has fallen into "a familiar old trap" is ludicrous. Working with a new medium (the Internet), Knowles has managed to expose the hypocrisy of those who willingly and enthusiastically participated in the invention of that familiar old trap.

As the editor and publisher of a monthly online magazine that comments on a narrow slice of the entertainment biz, we can relate to Knowles' experience. His readers (and our readers) are savvy enough to know that we are smart enough and honest enough to eat free food and still spin out an article or opinion with integrity. Call us "New New Journalists."

Part of our "neo-gonzo prose" includes full disclosure concerning where we are, how we got there and who paid the tab. The reader is left to judge our integrity--a far more open and honest arrangement than currently exists between most readers and conventional entertainment writers.

Brian McKim and Traci Skene

Merchantville, N.J.

*

I am dismayed and discouraged by articles written about people such as Knowles. But I shouldn't be surprised. The success of CBS' "Survivor" and its awful people shows how very low our standards have fallen.

Natasha A. Greene

Escondido

*

Reading Weddle's excellent take on Knowles brings back memories of a line attributed to the late Frank Zappa. The musical legend was asked by a Rolling Stone reporter for an opinion on rock journalism. Zappa replied that rock journalism is people who can't talk talking to writers who can't write for readers who can't read.

Ross Johnson

Via the Internet

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