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.)
Thursday, May 23, 2013
"NYT' Goes Outside for Review of WikiLeaks Fllm
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GregMitch