For those who think one of the titans of contemporary film criticism has gone soft because of his health issues ought to read this open-letter smackdown he gives to his former Chicago Sun-Times colleague, resigned sportswriter Jay Mariotti, for talking trash about the newspaper business during a TV interview. We're talking a good-ol', back-handed, class ring-wearing, you've-been-out-on-the-street-all-night-and-all-you-got-is-a-lousy-$20 jackslapping here.
In the letter, Ebert represents not only for his paper, but for the daily newspaper in general:
"Newspapers are not dead, Jay, because there are still readers who want the whole story, not a sound bite. If you only work on television, viewers may get a little weary of you shouting at them. You were a great shouter in print, that's for sure, stomping your feet when owners, coaches, players and fans didn't agree with you. It was an entertaining show. Good luck getting one of your 1,000-word rants on the air."
See, I told you the boy still has some fire left in him. And I thought giving props to this DOA flick was the gutsiest thing he's done recently.