Sunday, June 03, 2007

Amateurs and prose

Via Eric Goldman, a play producer labels favorable audience reviews posted on the NYT website as coming from "The New York Times Online" and uses them in his ads. The NYT protests, and the producer says that as long as the NYT is giving publicity to amateur reviewers whose only qualifications are a ticket purchase and a computer, he's going to keep labeling the reviews as coming from the NYT.

I'm with the NYT on this. As its lawyer sensibly points out, there's a huge difference between "an opinion that appears in the NYT" and "an opinion of the NYT," and the producer's advertising deceptively implies the latter, given the conventions of play advertising. By the producer's bad logic, he could quote letters to the editor as coming from the NYT, or even favorable reviews from an ad he ran in the NYT's pages.

What is particularly -- gumptious? -- about the producer's stance is that he apparently has contempt for both amateur and professional reviewers; he likes the NYT no more than its readers. Though of course he's happy enough to appropriate the favorable reviews of unqualified, haphazard amateurs.

No comments: