Why Nikki Finke Never Makes a Mistake: Commenter Edition
Hollywood blog impresaria Nikki Finke is infallible, because she rewrites her copy to suit the facts as they emerge. It's a neat trick. Today we can prove that she also spikes comments that dispute her site's reporting.
We've heard from plenty of people who say Finke routinely deletes critical comments from Deadline.com. Which is fine. It's her site to run as she sees fit. But it's also at odds with the fearless, truth-telling persona she ruthlessly cultivates by cajoling and threatening to sue the people who write about her.
In November, one of Finke's commenters wrote us to complain that Finke had deleted a comment he made in response to one of her "calling in sick" posts questioning whether she really had the flu or was inventing an illness to cover for having missed some of that day's news. The comment, and several others just like it, were deleted from the site, the tipster said. There's no way to prove that, of course. But we now know, courtesy Finke's own New York reporter Mike Fleming, that Deadline.com does censor comments that question its reporting.
Last week, Fleming wrote that Tim Burton had signed up to direct a stop-motion 3D Addams Family movie. MTV.com quickly published a rebuttal, quoting a Burton rep saying "there is no truth to the story." Today, Fleming wrote a post defending his initial report, saying "the deal happened" despite the fact that "numerous Deadline readers posted comments claiming the story was false, based on an MTV.com 'exclusive' report."
Wait—what readers? Fleming's original item has 79 comments. Only one of them—which reads, simply, "Nope. You are wrong"—claims the story is false, and none of them refer to the MTV.com story. Needless to say, those "numerous...comments" were disappeared down the memory hole, because Finke and Fleming didn't like them.
Finke says she was traveling when Fleming wrote the Burton item, and that Fleming declined to approve the critical comments "because, as he just told me, 'I knew that what they're saying is not factual. I stand by my story.'" And Deadline comments are moderated, anyway: "[They] come with this advisory: 'Comments are monitored. So don't go off topic, don't impersonate anyone, don't get your facts wrong, and don't bore me.'"
Which probably explains this one:
hi my name is nathalie and i would love to be in this film or any in the future- when you read this please email me from my address above and i will send you more about me etc… thanks for reading, nathalie