Does Kent Jones really believe that Paulene Kael was leading a national dialogue of film criticism in the 1970s? Who paid attention to film criticism in the 1970s? Elites, yes, but prior to Siskel and Ebert, did people in Peoria really pay that much attention?
The truth is that film criticism is more alive and influential today, because of the access provided by the Internet, than it ever has been. Too many elite film critics mistake the state of film criticism with their personal job security.