Greg Sandow has been blogging about press releases. Today he links to a fine article by David Stabler on that very subject. I found Mr. Stabler's response to a press release saying that a certain 18th century composer needed "no introduction" to be particularly cogent.
Alan Riding's piece on the critic's audience ends thusly:
So are critics necessary?Many are genuine experts in their field, whether it be art, music or literature, and they offer erudition as well as opinions. But some, notably in the performing arts, clearly savor their power, a power that comes from burying, not from praising. To be feared is to be important, which makes it all the more tempting to be negative. And there lies the problem: most people who buy a ticket for a play or a movie or an opera or a ballet want, above all, to enjoy themselves.