A.A. Bondy
American Hearts

Leaves in the Gutter

For What I Don't Become

The Thick of It
BBC America

Saddest Ghost Lamp

Sunday, December 18, 2005

How Do You Know They'll Print It?

Inspired by Jennifer Aniston's role as a New York Times obit-writer who gets off on leathery old men--what? A Times reporter who sleeps with powerful older men?--in "Rumor Has It," the Paper of Record engages in a little institutional ego-tripping today in a survey of the paper's starring and walk-on roles on the big screen, from "Serpico" to "Dr. Strangelove":
In another serious, but fictional, film, Sydney Pollack's "Three Days of the Condor" (1975), Robert Redford portrays an agent ensnared by a corrupt wing of the C.I.A. who takes his story to The Times and imagines himself protected as a result. But in the enigmatic final scene (set in front of the Times building on West 43rd Street), the corrupt agent played by Cliff Robertson makes clear that his life depends on whether the story runs. "Hey Turner, how do you know they'll print it?" he taunts. "You can take a walk, but how far if they don't print it?" The Redford character hesitates but affirms, "They'll print it."
Fictional, indeed. The notion of the New York Times sitting on a blockbuster story about illegal activity on the part of an intelligence agency is laughable. Where do you get this stuff, Hollywood?