Kevin Roderick writes June 23, 2007 on LAObserved:

Anderson Jones, a freelance film critic who formerly reviewed for E! Online and made appearances on the "E! True Hollywood Story," died after suffering a heart attack at a promotional screening of A Mighty Heart at the Arclight on Thursday night. "Always outspoken, proudly gay and often infuriating," writes Richard Horgan in an appreciation at FilmStew.com, where Jones contributed columns. "One of the coolest, most fun, most entertaining, most outspoken, most outrageous reporters on the west coast junket circuit," blogs Mark Wheaton. Also: Variety, FishbowlLA

Almost four years ago, I made an appointment to have lunch with Anderson in Beverly Hills. He didn't show. He said he forgot. We rescheduled. The second time around, after waiting 20 minutes for him, I just left. He arrived a few minutes later.

We never spoke again (my choice).

Chris Brandon emails:

Dear Luke, I came across your website while browsing for further information about Andy Jones, my long ago friend and former boss. He was my editor, first job out of j-school, and though he was a major pain in the ass, I can honestly say that I owe much of my success today to him.

It's interesting that your take on his passing includes reference to David Poland. I haven't thought about that name in years, but I'm actually curious to see if Mr. Poland comments on Andy's death. I assume I can find his Hot Button column through Google.

David Poland is pond scum. There are few people in this world that I truly hate, as I believe that's bad for the soul and probably the complexion as well, but Mr. Poland is one of them. He is arrogant, opportunistic, a liar, and just plain distasteful. He represents every nasty stereotype about Hollywood folk, and he is the sole reason why I personally left entertainment journalism and will never work in that field again.

The truth about what happened at TNT roughcut is that Andy hired Mr. Poland to write an inside-Hollywood column, but because Mr. Poland had zero insider knowledge he produced little more than obtuse, first-person film reviews written just slightly better than one of the scoopers at Ain't It Cool News. All the while, he smooth-talked our managers at TNT into demoting Andy and putting himself in the editor position. Andy, who was never able to work the corporate climate, was ultimately deposed. And under Mr. Poland's guidance, roughcut.com was shuttered by TNT within six months.

We aren't bitter. Honestly. In fact, I truly believe all turned out for the best. Andy went on to E! Online, he made numerous appearances on E! True Hollywood Story and other E! television programs, he published a book, he had a successful freelance career. But most important, he was somebody people remembered. Every time he interviewed a celebrity, they remembered him, and the next time they came around to plug another project they greeted Andy like old friends. He had an uncanny ability to make people love him. It was like magic.

What's David Poland done? As far as I know, he's still writing the exact same column Andy assigned him at roughcut, but at his own domain. Hell, it still has some of the same design elements. I can't say I've seen or read his name anywhere since roughcut ended. I think it's fairly obvious who won the battle between those two.

Andy was a phenomenal journalist, a gifted editor, and truly a one in a million person. I am glad to have known him.

From my November 4, 2003 archive:

David Poland vs Anderson Jones - Battle Of The Bulge

In this corner, standing over 6' tall and weighing in at 250 pounds, from Miami, Florida, is the biggest toughest darkest white daily movie columnist on the web - David Poland - the non-Torah Jew.

And in this corner, from the great state of Ohio, the happiest man at E!, Anderson Jones (6'1" and 230 goyisha black pounds).

Are you ready to rumble in a Torahdic way? This promises to be a shanda for de goyim.

Thursday morning David Poland wrote me two paragraphs about my reaction to Mark Glaser piece on online entertainment journalism for www.ojr.org. David included this: "I am more concerned that Glaser has allowed one of the web's least professional entertainment journalists to spew about the standards of others. That is rather disturbing."

I think David refers to movie columnist Anderson Jones of E! I emailed David if this was the case, and he replied, "No comment."

I've known David for 18-months and I never remember him referring to Anderson Jones. But by reading Mark Glaser's story, I can only conclude David is talking about Anderson Jones.

Then I read a letter by Anderson Jones to OJR.org, and I can only conclude he's writing about David Poland.

Anderson Jones writes to ojr.org:

Dear Editor: Although Mark Glaser's column is one of the better takes on the frustrations and hurdles online entertainment journalists face, one of his quoted sources was not completely candid with the author.

With regard to the Matrix junket, no online press were invited. Period. Hell, very few press of any kind were invited. One online writer did attend the junket as a guest of the studio. He received a favor. I also suspect that when this journalist was introduced to Laurence Fishburne, the actor was not told where this writer's musings appear.

The rest of the online community was served by a hastily arranged hour-long press conference in which the actors said little, if anything, interesting at all. That is a better representation of how entertainment journalists, and online writers in particular, are regarded by studios.

By the way, that lone online journalist invited to the Matrix junket is one of the few people on or offline who gave the movie a favorable review. Go figure.

Furthermore, beyond TV journalists, Russell Crowe's only interaction with most print, online and radio writers was at a single press conference during the junket. I doubt that Crowe could tell the difference between any of them.

This is not Mr. Glaser's fault. He's just the latest online journalist to be bamboozled by one of his peers spreading propaganda to serve himself and not Mr. Glaser's story, in a venue, ironically enough, where lots of scurrilous and incorrect information abound.

Sincerely, Anderson Jones

I emailed Anderson Jones about all this and he replies:


I have known David for almost 10 years after hiring him to write a column for TNT's roughcut.com, a site I ran for about four years.

Because you asked I will tell you that I have decided to end all ties with David Poland because, finally, he has gone too far.

Suffice it to say that, to my own chagrin, I hired David to work for me while I was running rounghcut.com for TNT and then we got to know him. And, I'm sad to say, it soon became abundantly clear that my generally acute faculty of reading people failed me horribly.

Take great care.

I push Anderson again and got this:


I have to admit that I'm perplexed. I don't know what David Poland hoped to achieve by defaming me, but isn't it interesting that during a conversation about scrrulious, unfounded gossip on the Internet, I am now maligned by someone who considers themselves a legitimate online journalist. It would be funny if it weren't so tragic.

I would encourage you, Luke, and your readers, to check out David's credentials. Find out about his time at TNT after I left or about his work with the Miami Film Festival or, most interestingly, for someone who flings around the word "unprofessional" so cavalierly, about how he embarrassed George Pennacchio (ABC-LA) on the air when he reported "news" from Poland about Sony Studios' marketing department that proved to be completely false.

I'll leave it that.

Who is Anderson Jones? There's a cool picture of him on the ojr.org site.

During college, Anderson founded an award-winning magazine for Ohio's college population. Then he joined the features department of the Detroit Free Press.

Next Anderson moved on to the Philadelphia Inquirer and ran the Rough-Cut website for TNT for four years before leaving for E! Online in September 1999.

Anderson Jones writes freelance articles for various magazines. He published a book about men in longterm relationships - Men Together from Running Press.

David Poland responds:

I will not be dragged into a slap fight with Andy Jones. I don't know what great offense he thinks I have caused him. We both know what happened at roughcut.com and his need to turn it into some other form of drama has never failed to shock me. I guess that's my weakness. Perhaps he is upset about a conversation this weekend in which I told him that I still loved him as a friend, despite some of his behavior. Perhaps the thought of being loved by someone for whom he has such rage was too much for him to take.

I have never misled an interviewer in my life. I have never knowingly printed a falsehood in my life. And I defy Andy Jones or anyone else to show otherwise.

I will decide whether to respond in any other public way in the near future. I do not wish to harm another human being so clearly in pain. DP

P.S. I do not weight 250 and Andy Jones does not weight 230. I know, Luke, that you just put that in there to mess with my non-Torah vanity. Mission accomplished.

David Poland writes on Hot Button:

Found myself assaulted in an e-mail exchange by a delusional former friend and pseudo-journo (not Jeff Wells).

Truth is, the personal assault is what took it out of me. This is a job best not reflected on too much. Doing it is the challenge. Reflecting on it always seems wrong. 'We' are not the story. Reflecting on a life in journalism while living a life in journalism is akin to counting your money during the poker game. It just isn't cool. When challenged, however, there is little choice but to reflect. I am happy with my life.

I wish I knew what caused this rage in my old friend. I can guess. But none of us can really know the heart of another. His ability to hurt me with little more than libel and bad intentions reminds me how deeply I can feel. And I suppose that's good. But it did suck all the energy out of my evening. And that's not good.