Two months ago, Richard Johnson crash-landed in Hollywood amid reports that he was being wooed for a $1 million salary at The Hollywood Reporter.
Instead, the famed Page Six editor moved into the digital age by shifting to be the entertainment editor for The Daily, News Corp.’s iPad publication which launched just over a week ago.
Now he’s published what he suggests is a sought-after photo of the blogger Nikki Finke.
Except it isn’t her.
Those of us who know Nikki – and I’m one of them, and I don’t think she considers me a friend – can definitively confirm what she’s already told them. It isn’t her. It’s not close to her. It’s not the car she drives. It’s not how she wears make-up. It’s not the shape of her face. Her hair isn’t that thick.
It’s just a blonde woman in her age range who apparently drove out of her building.
The Daily asked, beside its full-bleed iPad sized photo: “Is this the most powerful woman in Hollywood?”
No, it isn’t.
So what happens when a new publication eager to get on the crowded media map lures in readers with a scoop that isn’t? I think its credibility takes a serious hit.
I called Johnson, but he declined to discuss it.
However an individual close to The Daily was sticking to the delusion that they might have a scoop. Here were their arguments - you decide for yourself:
1. The Daily asked “several” people who have known Finke and they said “they thought it was” the blogger.
2. A photographer staked out her building for four days.
3. 57 percent of those who responded to The Daily’s poll said it was Finke. (My personal favorite)
4. Finke needs to prove it isn’t her, The Daily doesn’t need to prove it is. (Uh – why?)
Hey Richard - after two months in Hollywood, is this the best you got?
We wish you luck. You’re gonna need it.