Friday, August 31, 2007

Moving On

Fortunately most of the emails on the Hunka debacle have been favorable, if occasionally a little bit tetchy. I did receive one today, via a comment on a previous post, suggesting George "at least" saw a production that Playwrights Horizons had invited him to, versus me passing pre-judgement on the Spike Lee-directed Stalag 17. Of course, there was no pre-judgement in that original post, which read, in response to no one talking about the announcement of Lee in the first place...

"Why is no one posting about Spike Lee being announced to direct the first-ever revival of Stalag 17 on Broadway?Is there (with theoretical good reason) an automatic assumption that the show will be crap, or that Lee will crap out on the project?

Or is it summer doldrums?..."
Funny how people have a tenuous relationship to the truth, hm? I didn't realize that the posing of a rhetorical question (in response to no one discussing, good or bad or otherwise, the fact that Spike Lee is announced to direct Stalag 17) is the same thing as the making of a statement.

Or perhaps the rules of grammar and rhetoric do not apply to you, since other rules apparently do not apply, by your own decree, to the matchless, unassailable princes of the blogosphere.

Let me assure you that what happened here is not going to go away. If you can't handle the fact that what happened was wrong, please don't visit.

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Anonymous said...

Hi Leonard,

I hadn't realised that you were so insecure that you needed to attack me twice. So I've copied the text of my previous post and pasted it here as well.

Leonard, if you want to claim a stronger relationship to the truth than me, then you shouldn't misrepresent what I actually said.

I never claimed you were "passing judgement" on Stalag 17, I said you were "speculating". And your aside in parentheses, "with theoretical good reason", indicates that you are strongly sympathetic with those who make the "automatic assumption that the show will be crap".

That's a poisonous thing for a theatre critic to write about a show that hasn't even been staged, and I repeat, is a worse transgression than the one of which you accuse George.

10:43 AM

Aaron Riccio said...

Not that Leonard needs any help defending himself, but since I'd written about the Stalag 17 thing, too, I thought I'd just use this to stress my difference between "blogging" and "reviewing." "Poisonous" or not, Leonard made a fair "speculation" (man, that's a lot of quotes), just as I used quotes from Spike Lee interviews to suggest (but in no way claim) why I thought the show *MIGHT* be bad. The poor "transgression"--the unethical one--would be for Leonard to write the same in Backstage or the Press (and not as an Op-Ed). Here, Leonard has no real authority beyond that which readers give him. In an institution's publication -- specifically the rigidity of print -- he's essentially endorsed by the editors (and through them, publishers) of that paper.

Leonard Jacobs said...


I was unaware that my editors or my publisher(s) endorsed my opinions of productions. What they do endorse, and what they expect, is to abide by whatever agreed-upon code or codes of professional ethics and expectations exist. To say, "We're bloggers, we don't have to have any ethics" is untrue, and as I've been saying, it will not stand. I'm not dropping this.

Aaron Riccio said...

Don't add words when you quote me. I called the MSM a business first, writer second; not the writers.
Additionally, I didn't say your editors/publishers were endorsing your OPINIONS, I said they were endorsing YOU as a writer. If I publish a review, that's me, on my own, publishing a review. It goes as far as my name. If it's published in the New York Times, then it has the weight of the New York Times, that so-called arbiter of culture, behind it.

Nobody's asking you to drop it, and nobody's saying that we don't have (or have to have) ethics -- we simply have different opinions. You want to be the Hearst of Deadwood, bringing action to what you perceive as a lawless town? I don't see a Swearengen fighting you on that.

Leonard Jacobs said...

I don't watch Deadwood.