The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

On 'bad' black movie, Ebert stands firm, cringingly

I haven't seen, and have no intention of seeing, Diary of a Mad Black Woman - so I can't offer an opinion on it.

But the reaction of Chicago Sun-Times's marquee, Roger Ebert, to the barrage of criticism of his review, I can review.

It's mildly nauseating.

Ebert says
I have re-read my original review, and see no need to change a word.

But only after a thousand words cloaking in apparent validity the fatuous complaints he had received.

(How many of the hundreds of reviews the guy has written in the last year have been followed up with a similar piece?)

The correct response - as with the emails he no doubt receives that complain about all those other reviews of his - would have been the delete button and silence. Giving us the box score from Rotten Tomatoes where
only 23 of 78 critics liked the film
is a kow-tow of limbo-dancer depth. Stepin Fetchit in his most subservient role could hardly have been more abject.

It's crazy - at the same time as the Senate is voting for a Gradgrind bankruptcy bill that the Gilded Age would have found congenial, Ebert is jumping Jim Crow to placate what I suspect is an electronic shakedown mob of the kind that - to give a right-wing example - Brent Bozell's Parents Television Council regularly mobilises.

Free press? Journos may not be able to do anything about Patrick Fitzgerald's Plame/Miller/Cooper assault. But Ebert's cringe came entirely off his own bat.

(Unless he was leaned on by Sun-Times management to doff his hat and say Yassir. No information on that...)

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