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Why I Drink: The Hollywood Reporter Edition

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | June 18, 2013 |

By Steven Lloyd Wilson | Industry | June 18, 2013 |

I was going to call this post “The Stupidest Headlines of the Day” but then I realized that they were all from THR, and it’s only fair to give credit where it’s due. Look, I get that THR clearly isn’t quite in the same business as the other trade news places I go to read about film and television, but they’ve got this strange attachment to a certain genre of the business side of Hollywood, that I just cannot imagine mattering to anyone, let alone mattering to the same people who are reading the rest of their articles about the stuff actually produced by Hollywood.

But the worst problem isn’t that, it’s that there is rarely even a hint of critical thinking present in these articles, never an original thought. Just blowing sunshine up the ass of whatever happens to be the subject of that particular “excusive” tag.

Here are the nine most wonderful articles currently gracing the home page of THR:

David Lynch Displays Guitar Skills on Second Album (Exclusive Photo): It’s funny how being rich transforms “Grandpa buys guitar, posts picture on Facebook, video on YouTube” becomes “What started as a musical experiment is flourishing into a full-on recording career for David Lynch” when you’re rich enough to just buy a recording studio.

Rupert Murdoch Donates $50,000 to Stony Brook International Reporting Program: While that’s very nice of him, one can’t help but note that this is probably less than 1% of the cash he’s currently giving lawyers to defend his right to hack into the phones of murder victims. But yeah, no mention of that.

TV’s Top Offices: Where the Showrunners of ‘Mad Men,’ ‘New Girl,’ ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ Work and Play: Oh thank god, this will get me through until the Ikea catalog arrives. Becomes Partner in Beverly Hills Brand Licensing Agency Well thank god someone got the scoop on this news. I’m just disappointed that the article doesn’t include the word “synergize”, but you must have to pay extra for that.

‘Big Brother 15’: First Look at the Brand New House: Unless it’s built on top of a nuclear bomb, I just can’t bring myself to care.

Lil Wayne: I Didn’t Step on American Flag on Purpose: I wouldn’t have called this news even if he claimed it attacked him first and it was self defense. Ok I still wouldn’t call that news, but it might actually be more interesting than “some guy does something stupid, here is his canned apology.”

Bruce Lee Statue Unveiled in L.A.’s ChinatownThe only thing I got out of this was that there are enough people with nothing better to do that there is a Bruce Lee Foundation that goes around donating statues. Oh and that just the base of the statue cost $150,000, which is three times what the richest news man in the world can afford to donate to journalism.

Relativity Media’s Ex-GC Joins Sklar Kirsh: The subtitle seals it for me: “Michael Rosner joins a new law firm founded in February.” My god, if THR doesn’t tell people when lawyers change jobs, who will?

The Hollywood Reporter Announces Nine Hires, Five Promotions: First, I think we can all be thankful that they have more individuals in place to cover more critical news stories like those showcased above.

But really, how pretentious do you have to be to announce your hires as if it’s news in and of itself? We’re not talking about, oh here’s Johnny, he’s writing for us now. We’re talking about putting it in there as an actual breaking news article. It means you actually think you’re so special that you’re part of the news that you’re reporting on. I’m only really surprised that they didn’t say that it was an exclusive.

Given that they clearly need my advice, I’ll just go ahead and assume that they’ve also asked for it and that the emails have gotten lost in the junk mail pile. Focus, THR. It’s about focus. And the only focus that website seems to have is on publishing items that only tangentially have anything to with each other. They’re like the potpourri category of “Jeopardy” without Trebek’s sweet Canadian syrup.

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Steven Lloyd Wilson is the sci-fi and history editor. You can email him here or follow him on Twitter.