I promised I would quit expressing my opinion in editorials on the main Web site, and just keeping them in our very friendly message boards, but after watching the highly-touted "Star Trek: Nemesis" segment on "Entertainment Tonight" Wednesday, I just couldn't keep my yap shut on this one.
Whatever happened to the great reporting that ET used to do? You know, where they would talk with actors, with producers, with directors, and cover entertainment the way it's supposed to be covered? Like the way most fan sites cover it now. Instead of being a mostly credible news franchise, it looks like "Entertainment Tonight" has turned into nothing by a public relations machine for Paramount Pictures. They are sending out their own information, and the "reporters" act like they are nothing more than corporate puppets.
I don't mean to attack the integrity of the journalists working on the show, but I just have to ask: where on Earth are you receiving your information?
They concentrated most of the 90-second segment on "reports" that Capt. Jean-Luc Picard was going to die in the film. In fact, from the transcripts posted by TrekToday, they even go as far to say "reports not only have Capt. Picard dying in 'Star Trek: Nemesis,' but also have Patrick Stewart helping write his own death scene."
Whose reports were those?!? Sites like Airlock Alpha (and as one of its predecessors, SyFy World), TrekWeb, TrekToday and others have been reporting on "Star Trek X" almost since the day that "Star Trek: Insurrection" premiered in 1998. In fact, I think every major science fiction and Star Trek Webmaster, if not many of its visitors, have even read the alleged rough draft of the "Nemesis" script. In no time do I ever remember any of us reporting that Capt. Picard might die.
Sure, there were reports that appeared on all our sites suggesting that the villain could be Mr. Spock, and other far-fetched ideas. But since about a month before the leak of what is believed to be the script, every major site has remained quite consistent with each other on what their reporting, and many things that originally were reported -- like Riker's and Troi's wedding, Picard driving an SUV on the planet surface, and even names of characters -- have basically been confirmed over the last few months by Rick Berman or the actors or someone officially involved with the production.
But never once did anyone report that Picard was dying. At least not in the last several months.
Maybe Mary Hart needs to do better research on these so-called reports. The character that these sites have reported will die is none other than Lt. Cmdr. Data, played by Brent Spiner. And it also was reported that Spiner is helping to write this death, something he's requested over the last three movies, and something that seems quite plausible since he is listed officially with partial story credit for the movie.
This was nothing more than "Entertainment Tonights'" attempt to twist facts to tease fans into tuning into the segment to get nothing but garbage. At the same time, they avoided the real question ... is Data going to die? I don't think anyone who at least pays attention to news on the upcoming Star Trek movie were actually shocked when we learn Picard lives at the end of the film. I wasn't, and if you're a regular visitor here, you aren't either.
If a so-called entertainment news show is not going to ask the real questions, then they shouldn't bother asking them at all. Giving us these second-rate substitute questions is just inexcusable.
Michael Hinman is news editor and co-owner of Airlock Alpha. He's based in Tampa, Fla., and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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