"Technically, they are voted, but actually they are not decided by the use of whatever artistic and critical wisdom Hollywood may happen to possess. They are ballyhooed, pushed, yelled, screamed, and in every way propagandized into the consciousness of the voters so incessantly, in the weeks before the final balloting, that everything except the golden aura of the box office is forgotten."
Raymond Chandler writing about the Oscars in 1948. [Oscar Night in Hollywood - The Atlantic]
I was happy with about 2/3 of the awardwinners last night, but even in 2014, this is pretty much still the case.