UPDATE with more information, below.
Just in time for the Paper of Record’s vaunted readership to make its New Year’s Weekend film-going resolutions, comes this full-page house ad for The Pentagon Papers: The Secret History of the Vietnam War. Adding a puckish thumb-in-the-eye to the competition, the promo is topped with a money quote – “The most significant leaks of classified material in American history.” – from, that’s right, the Washington Post.
They didn’t even have to add an exclamation point to the rave.
Some Times staffers are discombobulated, claiming The Post overstates the D.C. paper’s role in printing excerpts from the Pentagon Papers in June 1971. The Times’ publisher and editor, Arthur Sulzberger and A.M. Rosenthal, took the greater risk in publishing the first installments of the massive Top Secret account of how several administrations lied and misled the public about the progress of the war. When a lower court stopped the Times from publishing after three installments, the Post, led by publisher Kay Graham and editor Ben Bradlee, picked up the slack, also at considerable risk, leading to a landmark Supreme Court ruling in favor of the right to publish. (Disclosure: I worked for the Times from 1986 to 1991. I love the paper. But I don’t think The Post stints on crediting the Times.)
Wherever they are, Ben Bradlee and Abe Rosenthal are clinking glasses over this one.