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Thursday, May 23, 2013

"NYT' Goes Outside for Review of WikiLeaks Fllm

The Times posted its Friday review of Alex Gibney's We Steal Secrets tonight, and it offers a mixed view of the film, praising it for certain things but finding it less than shapely and probably too long.  So far not a big shocker.  But then I noticed the byline--not one of the paper's usual three or four critics but an outsider:  Nicolas Rapold, the senior editor of Film Comment magazine.   This is a common move in the Books department when they want to review a new volume by someone who works, or has worked, or is somehow related to the Times--see Brian Stelter's recent book, for example--but I can't recall a similar step for a film, or at least one that was not written or endorsed or stars a Times person.

Apparently the paper feels that its savage critiques of Julian Assange--principally by former editor Bill Keller and top UK and Iraq correspondent John F. Burns--put too much of a taint on how such a review might be viewed.  And the paper, of course, was a player in the WikiLeaks media rollout.   Hence: Rapold.  (My interview with Gibney here.)

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