UPDATE: Nora Ephron & NY Times, Part 2
Everyone in Hollywood is talking about this. But I can’t do a better job than this emailer to DHD does by explaining the inexplicable. (At last count, 15 mentions of Nora Ephron in The New York Times online and in the paper in just the past 30 days, including a piece written by the Culture Editor himself. And I recall that, when critics savaged her last Bewitched, Sony’s Amy Pascal told journalists that “the media hates Nora”.) Except to say I wish The Hurt Locker was receiving this much attention:
Does Nora Ephron own a large stake in The New York Times? In the weeks preceding the release of her new film about Julia Child, there has been a continuous parade of articles about the movie, the director, and the movie’s subject. Consider today’s (Sunday, August 2) paper:
1. A front page article on television reality cooking shows.
2. A front of the Arts & Leisure section on Ephron’s depictions of happy marriages in her movies.
3. A front of the Sunday Magazine article on Julia Child’s influence on American cooking.
4. A Maureen Dowd interview with Ephron on the op ed page.
In addition, last week there was an article about the food stylist for the movie and an Ephron recipe in The New York Times Magazine.
Okay, she’s a hometown girl. But let’s face it: Nora Ephron directs pathetic little romantic comedies that are successful at the box office about one-third of the time. Her last movie, “Bewitched,” was exceptionally bad. You wouldn’t think any newspaper would devote any coverage to anyone guilty of that atrocity. Does she really deserve all this coverage?…
Or take another example from the movies. Last year, Steven Soderbergh released a two-part, four hour plus epic about the military life of Che Guevara. Love it or hate it, it was a serious piece of work from a serious, Oscar-winning director (and one who lives most of the year in NYC). At the very least, it was a project which deserved [more] attention of the paper of record. Yet apart from reviewing the films, The New York Times published [very few] articles about the work, the director, or the films’ subjects. While the Times published SIX articles about Nora Ephron in the space of a single week, including a fucking recipe for meatloaf.
For the record, I have nothing against Nora Ephron. There’s room out there for all sorts of filmmakers, she seems like a lovely person, and she’s certainly well-liked in New York City. But I’m disgusted by The New York Times‘ coverage of her — coverage, I suspect, Tony Curtis’ character in “Sweet Smell of Success” would recognize: coverage bought and paid for by a press agent. The Times is usually less blatant about this business, but then times are hard for the newspaper industry.