Tuesday, August 02, 2011

I Give It Three Thumbs Up

Don't let the bad reviews keep you from seeing, Page One, Inside The New York Times. I saw the movie over the weekend at the Plaza del Oro and thought that it was great.

As you would expect, the full-length documentary looks at how the Old Gray Lady is seeking to survive both as a print and ink operation and as a digital newspaper among competition from online news aggregators, blogs and the changing economics of advertising.

If anyone steals the show in this film it's David Carr, the media desk reporter who is a former crack addict. He has all the best lines and he's probably the last person who would come to mind when you think of a New York Times reporter.

Towards the end of the movie, one of the editors talks about a poster of the movie "Citizen Kane" that he has hanging in his office. It's from the movie's distribution in France and he talks about how it depicts an idealized version of Orson Welles in his role as newspaper publisher Charles Foster Kane. The editor remarks, "Look at that, he's got a 28 inch waist. I've never seen a newspaper publisher who looked like that!"

I guess the editor had never seen Otis Chandler, the late former publisher of the LA Times, in his prime. Chandler attended Cate School in Carpinteria and went to Stanford where he was a track and field star. And he was a lifetime surfer and bodybuilder.

I grew up in L.A. where we used to say, "My newspaper publisher can beat up your newspaper publisher."
© 2011 by Craig Smith and www.craigsmithsblog.com