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In Regards To The Coming Attractions scoop on Jimmy Smits and SWE2 & 3

Hey folks, Harry here. Seems that ol Father Geek managed to anger Patrick at COMING ATTRACTIONS by writing his introduction for the piece rather unfortunately. In his introduction, he made it seem that Patrick was 'running the scoop by us' before the scoop went on to anyone else. The fact was Patrick had sent it out to a great many people all at the same time. He felt that it was a very important rumor/scoop and wanted to spread the word. It is the sort of scoop, that if it pans out, is a feather in his well feathered cap. And Father Geek seemed to have stepped on Patrick's feelings a bit and his introduction was inappropriate. Here's the original complete letter that Patrick sent...

From: Corona Productions

To: 'Brian Zoromski'; 'Den@IGNMovies'; 'Eric Lurio'; 'Garth Franklin'; 'Lincoln@Countingdown'; 'Nick Nunziata'; 'Sean Jordan'; 'Stax'; 'Steven Horn'; ''; 'Harry Jay Knowles'; 'Chris Gore'; 'John Shea'; 'Brian Koukol'; 'Bjorn Hundlan'; 'Ian'; 'Tim Doyle'; 'Coming Soon! Gang'; 'Frank Kurtz'; 'Keith Herber'; 'Jeffrey Wells'; ''; 'Jawad Mir'; 'Lew Irwin'; 'Widgett'

Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2000 7:11 PM

Subject: Star Wars 2 casting news.

Hey gang,

I rarely do this, but I feel the importance of this piece of gossip is important enough to pass on to you all. CA's running the story that Jimmy Smits (yes, he of NYPD Blue fame, but I prefer LA Law myself) has been secretly cast in a role that'll have him starring in STAR WARS 2 as well as STAR WARS 3. I don't know the name of the character yet, but according to my source, Smits' deal is done and only requires a few days of filming. However, his role in SW3 is much larger and will require more time from the actor. I trust my source and his credibility, which I outline on the CA STAR WARS 2 page.

Details are on If Lucas is serious about shooting this film starting next month, there should be some kind of casting announcement fairly soon, you think, right? Well, this is Lucas...


Harry here again, and as you can see... Patrick wasn't running this by anyone... He was... for all intents and purposes.... issuing a press release about a big scoop, so that the fans of each internet website online could partake of the knowledge instantly and easily. Bravo. And if that is where this ended... well, I'd pat Patrick on the back and say.... Great Job! But Patrick seems to want to somehow turn this into an embarrassing situation for me and Aint It Cool News, and is planning on Monday publishing the following letter to somehow get my attention:

From: Corona Productions

Reply-To: ""

To: "'Corona Productions'", "'Brian Zoromski'", "'Den@IGNMovies'", "'Eric Lurio'", "'Garth Franklin'", "'Lincoln@Countingdown'"

To: "'Nick Nunziata'", "'Sean Jordan'", "'Stax'", "'Steven Horn'", "''", "'Chris Gore'"

To: "'John Shea'", "'Brian Koukol'", "'Bjorn Hundlan'", "'Ian'", "'Tim Doyle'",

To: "'Frank Kurtz'", "'Keith Herber'", "'Jeffrey Wells'", "''", "'Jawad Mir'", "'Lew Irwin'" To: "'Widgett'", "'Chris Bernier'", "'David Poland'", "'Thomas Chau'", "'Suni Sidhu'", "'Rob Worley'"

To: "'Deadpool'", "'Roc Carson (Corona)'", "'Steve Harris'"

Subject: The letter.

Date: Fri, 2 Jun 2000 19:59:41 -0700

Organization: Corona Productions

X-Mailer: Microsoft Internet E-mail/MAPI -

Here it is. It's a first draft, and a letter that's meant to reflect a general sentiment of a large group of people. Please bear that in mind when you read it over and suggest changes/word replacements/issues that were forgotten that need to be addressed. Send the corrections in a reply to all parties; I'll act as wordsmith and edit the changes into the body once they're agreed upon. All changes need to be done by, let's say, Saturday 11:59 PM, PST. It should be sent off to AICN Sunday, allowing them a day. I'll be posting this letter on CA's Director's Cut on Monday, along with CA's personal issues. I think if there are specifics that pertain to each of us/our sites', let's post them on our sites along with the letter come Monday morning.

If you know of anyone that's been removed from this list or missing, please send this to them. If you do not represent your organization but wish to sign the letter, please do so using your recognized online name.

That's it.


* * * * *

To the webmasters of "Ain't it Cool News":

Ever since the explosion of the Internet, one of the highest-visible segments of it has been online film community. Today there are dozens of websites, columns, chat rooms and the like that allow movie fans the opportunity to discuss and read about the latest news from inside Hollywood. However, one of the areas that has not been approached in significant detail is the matter of what kind of professional ettiquette should exist on the 'net between the webmasters of these sites. A number of us, the site operators, writers, and webmasters feel that your site, "Ain't it Cool News", has been unfairly painting a picture that reflects poorly on the reputation of these other websites, and the public's perception of the Internet film journalistic community.

There have been numerous occasions where material that has been sent in good faith to AICN has been modified, or edited to make it appear that AICN has been the sole originator of this material. Many times appropriate credit for the original site or individual that broke this news story has been ignored, or down-played, or modified to make it appear AICN was the source of this news story. When feedback has been sent to AICN often there's been no retraction, no conversation, no recognition that an email has been received. When a rebuttal has been posted in the "Talkback" section of the website, sometimes it is erased from the conversation -- again, no explanation, no reason. When some of us have addressed these inconsistencies with the webmasters of AICN in private exchanges, excuses have been made that AICN doesn't need to follow the same code of conduct that adopted in the journalistic media. In the realms of journalism, this would be considered to be arrogant to its peers, its audience, and the medium in general. We feel that this is not an acceptable excuse.

The same practices and accountability should hold true to all of the online community. No one can doubt that AICN is perceived by the general media to be the largest, and most popular, film website of its kind. But when a site receives such accolades, shouldn't it be mindful of its audience and try and provide them with the most accurate reporting they can provide? Shouldn't its operators be held to the same level of accountability as television programs, newspapers, movie critics and so on? Shouldn't there exist some kind of ethical, moral code that makes it a part of the larger community, and not come across as an arrogant outsider? We believe so.

We feel that the actions of the webmasters of "Ain't it Cool News" perpetuate an image of unprofessional and unethical attitudes in web journalism that reflects poorly on the entire online film community. We hope that in the future this will change.


[the undersigned]

Now, apparently on Monday, various folks that Patrick sent the letter to would sign this letter of greivances against AICN and my behind would be spanked publicly for all to see.... So, I figured what the heck, I'd scoop Patrick with his own editorial.

One of the 'issues' that Patrick brings up is the matter of 'CREDIT' for stories. And ya know... this is an issue. Everyday Patrick, Garth, Nick, Sean and a horde of other internet reporters get 'scoops' sent in. I do too. FOr arguements sake, let's take this Jimmy Smits 'scoop'. While Patrick did indeed send me/father geek/aicn, as well as all the people you see, a notice about the scoop appearing on his site. About 30 minutes before that time in my email I got the following letter:

hey harry, some news for ya

the actor jimmy smits is to appear in both ep 2 and 3 of star wars although his character is not known yet, my source tells me that he is only going to do maybe a week of filming as his role is not that big in ep 2 but will be expanded for ep 3. my source(who's brother DELETED TO PROTECT SOURCE) has promised to keep me up to date with any news he has.

the movie directed by former eurithmic Dave Stewart and starring girl group, the all saints has been withdrawn from cinemas in the u.k. because of its poor performance at the box office. The film has only managed to draw in £111 000, roughly $200,000 on its opening weekend.

thats all for now

keep it real


Now, the night I got this scoop I got a late start on the site, and by the time I had read this letter and Patrick's letter, I had already done my nightly surfing and had seen the scoop at not only Patrick's site, but Dark Horizons as well. Instead of writing up the story from WELSHLAD and not mentioning Coming Attractions at all.... I decided that the story was already going to be everywhere, so I'd rather focus my energies and efforts upon other stories that wouldn't be up on their sites that night. The next morning I awoke to see that Father Geek had decided to post the story himself, and thus the issue begins.

Generally the interactions between website owners and operators is pretty cool. Take Garth and I.... I've had the wonderful pleasure of writing Garth little heads up letters informing him that a story he was running as original had originally run on AICN a couple of days before, and vice versa... Garth has written me... and corrections were made and we did the ol internet shake hands, good job and moved on to the job of running our mutual sites.

Every now and again though there become these 'flame wars/angry email exchanges' and I try to always just be nice and take care of it by calm inquiries about what exactly the perceived problem is or was, and how we can come to a mutually happy conclusion on the issue.

Often times these exchanges will begin over a 'credit' issue. Sometimes it's caused by a reader out there that reads news on my site or one of the other sites online, and then writes a letter without originally sourcing the original location for the story. Sometimes they will go into creating a character and a pretty elaborate story. Now I try my best to read every website online, and I do read Dark Horizons, Coming Attractions, Hollywood Reporter, Variety, L.A. Times, IGN Movies, Filmforce and Cinescape everyday... and I try to drop in on and each day or two. However, I miss some of these. And the polite heads up letter from the site administrator/owner usually gives me the heads up.... and more often than that, it'll come from a reader that's a fan of that site writing first.

Then there is the ocassion of the same people writing the same stories and sending them to multiple sites, but so that it doesn't appear in the email. This happens all the time when publicity companies send press release emails (like ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY does with their cover stories) and whichever site owner opens the email first and posts it up... well they got it up first, but really there is no proprietary ownership to that scoop since the source sent it to multiple people all at the same time.

The main thing is, everyone running an entertaiment news/gossip/rumor website is painfully undermanned. I'm working on bringing more full time folks aboard so that AICN can do even better than it has.... but I've never had an issue with providing a link or a credit as long as I was notified or I had seen it somewhere originally.

But this stuff happens all the time, with a ton of sites. Generally it should be handled cool and calm. I remember my first major story I wrote online. I had driven to TEXAS A&M to watch Steve Sansweet show the very first footage, and report on the very first facts regarding the STAR WARS SPECIAL EDITIONS. I wrote up a big ol long report and posted it up in general film and Star Wars newsgroups. I was extremely proud of the story... I had adrenaline pumping through me as it was my first first hand scoop I had written. Two days later, someone emails me saying that someone else was taking credit for my story and they provided me with a link to the site in Question. This site was Corona Coming Attractions when Patrick was the sole operator. I wrote this letter to him basically saying.... what the hell? Told him that it was my story, refrenced the date and time I posted it to newsgroups and Patrick apologized for having not read those newsgroups and corrected the credit on the story as well as the context.

So Patrick, I'd like to apologize for Father Geek's unfortunate lead-in to the story. You do great work... be well


P.S. If you have a problem with the credit on any story on AICN... drop me a line. No need to get all in a huff about it. Just write and explain and I'll make the necessary corrections.

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