David Manning of The Ridgefield Press is the Film Critic who, well, isn't. What isn't he? He isn't anything actually.

David Manning, who gave glowing quotes about such Hollywood slag piles as "The Animal", is nothing more than a figment in the minds of the Sony Pictures Advertising Department. An unknown (or at least un-named) Sony Pictures employee created "him" sometime around July of 2000 by taking a name of a friend and the name of a newspaper chosen at random. No one in the Sony Pictures PR Department questioned his quotes, presumably because they didn't want to spoil a good thing, and thus the charade was born.

When one of the more curious Newsweek staffers got a fishy smell about Manning, Newsweek questioned Sony about the reviewer's state of authenticity. Althought they folded like a cheap suit, they still maintain that they did nothing really "wrong", but simply excercised poor judgment. Much like when they decided to make "The Animal" in the first place.

References: MSNBC: http://www.msnbc.com/news/581770.asp?cp1=1