No matter how bad the movies of Columbia Pictures were, there was always one reviewer sure to heap praise on them, Dave Manning of the Ridgefield Press
. For instance, while other reviewers skewered the sophomoric comedy The Animal
, it impressed Manning as "another winner." His rave reviews might have gone forever unnoticed, except that Newsweek
reporter John Horn uncovered the curious truth about him, which was that Manning didn't exist at all. He was the fictional creation of a young marketing executive at Sony, the parent company of Columbia Pictures, used to generate fake praise for otherwise unpraiseworthy movies.