I feel I must chime in to what's been written thus far about Ashley's column and, in particular, the one on Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Concerns sparked by Mike regarding insults and inuendo, and how Leonard Maltin got hamstrung, are real ones. Just as real as it would be if someone saw it, and filed suit against Ashley for defamation as well as you, the editor, for posting it. I believe you would be liable in this case.
That said, while I don't necessarily get into Hollywood fluff, I will admit that I one time did. Rona Barrett's Hollywood "JAWS" issue isn't the only one I ever purchased. To the point, with before-mentioned exceptions, I thought Ashley's column was very well done for someone first getting water on their toes. Mike does have a point about the glaring omission of the birthdays being the same [of Zeta-Jones and husband Michael Douglas], but I surmise she didn't know or find out about that, otherwise it would have been in there.
Mike and I IM'd about this and I commented he shouldn't hold her to his high standard. I mean, let's face it, Mike IS Mr. Hollywood, and knows more about anything and everything Hollywood than any of us ever will...EVER.
At the crux, there is whether or not this column should even be in PCR to begin with. True, it doesn't necessarily refer to pop culture, and is much more to the gossip side, but in the end, that decision is going to lie with Mr. Canova. I also don't see how Zeta's ex being tried for multiple rapes has anything to do with her. Possibly this info should've been expounded on in the "making of Catherine" sub-paragraphs about what she went thru to get where she is. It would have made it more biographical, and would have entailed more research, but it could have been powerful stuff.
of course, that wasn't Ashley's intention. What she wants to put out is a Hollywood column and expound on things that interest her. Which I believe is really what all of us do. Does it belong? Probably not. Does mine most times? Probably not. Not as it pertains to pop culture. It's all about identity at this point, and Nolan's nice enough to give liberties and broad mindedness (well...with the exception of one of my articles falling upon "end times").
Is there an audience for it in PCR? Who knows. Do people have to click on it? No. Does everyone who hits this page visit me? No. but hey...am I really the one to tell somebody what they can and can not write in their column? Me? Mr. Freemason?
I know Nolan is most times crunched for time and the fact that he is able to put out this massive conglomeration on a weekly basis astounds and befuddles me. How he pulls it off, I'll never know. Not to mention the occasional fires he has to put out. My HAT is definitely off to you, my friend.
In Mike's defense, knowing him as well as I do, there is just no way I think he intended for that letter to be published as it was. Oh sure, summarized maybe. Edited for posting, for sure. But he kind of came off as mean and demanding, even though he did rightly clarify the end result is up to the editor. Anyone who doesn't know, should know, that when Mike, Nolan and I correspond, it's sometimes done with a flair for the insulting, degrading, and demeaning, even though we don't necessarily mean it. In fact, after I read the letter I thought, even though I agreed with the essense of it, "Wow, what a jerk". Of course, anyone who knows Mike knows he is NOT a jerk, and is one of the more righteous and supportive people you'll ever find. His passion for wanting PCR to be above the fluff and cutting edge, in my view, is a right one.
As for Ashley Lauren's Hollywood, if the columns continue, I'll be optimistic and say it will be interesting watching Ashley grow as she cranks out her columns, honing her literary identity. If it's over and done, because of the subject matter, we don't really lose anything. But hey, you never know who the next big gossip columnist is going to be. It's early, but who knows? Could happen.
Take care, and God bless,