The New York Times is claiming that the movie, “The Post” incorrectly credits the Washington Post with one of its scoops—publication of the Pentagon Papers in 1971.
The Post story on evidence that the Nixon, Johnson and Kennedy administrations lied about the Vietnam war appeared only after NYT “published articles quoting from it in the summer of 1971,” says the paper.
Meryl Streep plays Post publisher Katharine Graham and Tom Hanks plays editor Ben Bradlee in the Steven Spielberg movie.
NYT’s story says the movie should have been called “The Times” and not “The Post.” The movie has been in limited release and won't be in wide release until Jan. 12, 2018.
Post Reported on Watergate
The Post gained fame as for its reporting on the Watergate break-in that led to the resignation of President Nixon.
Security guard Frank Wills, patrolling the office complex shortly after midnight on June 18, 1972, found masking tape covering locks on a stairwell door. He took it off but later saw it had been replaced and called police.
Wills discovered what would become known as the biggest political corruption scandal in U.S. history, leading to the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon. Five men who ransacked and bugged the offices of the Democratic National Committee were arrested. Police said they had devices capable of picking up and transmitting all talk, including telephone conversations.
The final scene in “The Post” shows a security guard with a flashlight making his rounds. Perhaps a sequel is planned that will cover Watergate.
A related tragic development, just as "The Post" was released, is that Wiliam Graham, 69, son of Katharine, shot himself to death in his home in Los Angeles Dec. 20. His father, Philip Graham, committed suicide at age 48 by shooting himself. Katharine Graham died at age 84 in 2001. Jeff Bezos bought The Post and several smaller papers in 2013 for $250 million.
William Graham, a lawyer and philanthropist who taught trial law at the University of California, Los Angeles, is survived by his wife, Sally Lasker Graham; two chidren, Alice Graham and Edward Graham; his sister Lally Weymouth, Post senior associate editor, and brothers Donald and Stephen Graham.
Times Praises Self and Post
The Times is restrained in its treatment of The Post in the film.
It says both media “have the protection of their owners—a family in the case of The Times and a billionaire (Bezos) in the case of The Post who are bulwarks against the blind market forces that would have them turn into click-bait versions of themselves.”
The leadership of the Sulzberger family and Bezos is said to “provide protection against an executive branch that seems all too willing to punish news outlets that don’t adopt the standards of that Trump favorite, ‘Fox & Friends.’”
CNN, described as “the president’s other frequent media target,” has no family or billionaire protector at a time when it is “at the center of AT&T’s proposed acquisition of its parent company, Time Warner.”
Times subscriptions and stock price “have experienced double-digit growth in 2017," the company adds.
Arthur Gregg Sulzberger will succeed his father Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. as publisher on New Year’s Day.
Competition between the Times and Post, “each now more than a newspaper,” has spurred both of them along, says the story.