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COMMENTARY

WGRZ says report on Bradley Cooper film coming to Buffalo was false. But was it?

I was amused this week when WGRZ-TV ran a story concluding that the online rumor that Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro was going to shoot scenes with actor Bradley Cooper in Buffalo for an upcoming film “Nightmare Alley” was false.

The station made that conclusion after it interviewed Buffalo Niagara Film Commissioner Tim Clark about a report on an entertainment blog. That report appeared to be partially based on del Toro having recently had dinner at Chef’s restaurant.

I took Clark's comments to WGRZ as a non-denial denial; he didn’t appear to be saying the report wasn’t true.

"Very often, when there's a sighting of somebody in town, it sometimes backfires and spooks people away," he said. "I think in the case of this rumor, somebody put two and two together because there was a sighting of a producer in town and they thought, 'Well it's gotta be this movie.' "

Channel 2 added of the post “according to Clark, it’s false.”

"It might happen, but I doubt it," Clark also told the station.

That isn’t saying the report is false.

I’ve known Clark – who once worked at WKBW-TV – for decades. Questions about whether movies are being filmed here are a nightmare for him. A non-denial denial is right up his alley. Sometimes you have to read between the lines to understand what he is saying and what he is not saying.

He fears that any publicity about a project coming here could jeopardize it from happening.

Reading between the lines, Clark wasn’t telling WGRZ the report wasn’t true. He was saying I can’t tell you what the truth is.

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A reminder to DirecTV fans: Here’s a way to see the Bills game at Detroit tonight on CBS even though WIVB-TV is off the satellite service because of a dispute between its owner, Nexstar, and DirecTV's owner. The game is being streamed on CBS All-Access, which costs $5.99 a month, And you can get a week’s free trial to avoid paying anything.

The ACC Network premiered as scheduled Thursday night on Spectrum Cable’s Select Tier without any additional cost. Since I had an old Time Warner Cable package, I had to switch to a Spectrum package to get the new channel that should especially appeal to Syracuse University football and basketball fans. To my surprise, the switch actually saved me money. When does that ever happen to cable subscribers? By the way, former Bills quarterback EJ Manuel is a football analyst on the new network.

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