Thursday, March 22, 2007

Grazergate Sweeps L.A. Times

Superproducer Brian Grazer was recently tapped as the first "guest editor" of the L.A. Times Current opinion section. You may know Grazer as the wunderkind behind such classic cinematic masterpieces as Flightplan, Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, and pretty much every Ron Howard movie ever made.

Well, L.A.-based media blog L.A. Observed broke a story yesterday claiming that Grazer got the position because Andrés Martinez, the editorial pages editor who selected Grazer, is involved in a romantic relationship with Kelly Mullens, an executive with the PR firm representing Grazer's Imagine Entertainment. The post caused a significant amout of backlash and mudd-slinging between editors and PR personal, resulting in a whole lot of 'he said-she said' quotes that could run circles around a White House press report.

The end result? Grazer is out.

"We have an appearance and not a case of actual undue influence. We want to do the right thing for our readers and for the paper," Times publisher David Hiller added.

Personally, I'm glad Grazer got dethroned. This might just be the first step Hollywoodland takes towards realizing that he's not an intellectual, but actually a money-grubber who makes bad movies. But I guess personal vendetta isn't really a fair reason to celebrate someones scandalous ousting, is it?

"We're concerned that even the appearance of a conflict is enough to discredit the hard work of reporters and editors in the newsroom," said Charles Ornstein, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter. "This newspaper has worked very hard, even during these trying times, to consistently improve our coverage and remain upbeat about our future. To face a potential scandal is really discouraging."

Yeah, what he said.

No comments: