The Washington Post

Obama role in bin Laden film gets a boost: NYT

(Rahimullah Yousafzai/AP)

The New York Times is reporting a scoop that sits at the very middle of the political-media intersection: A film about the killing of Osama bin Laden has undergone a round of editing that amps up the role of President Obama. The film will debut two days before the Nov. 6 presidential election.

The Times’s Michael Cieply and Brian Stelter note that according to materials supplied to the paper, the film, “SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden,” “has been recut, using news and documentary footage to strengthen Mr. Obama’s role and provide a window into decision-making in the White House.” The more prominent role for the president, notes the Times, will add fuel to claims that it’s a “political stunt.”

The film will air on the National Geographic Channel, which is majority-owned by the not-exactly-left-wing company News Corp., of Rupert Murdoch fame. “We wouldn’t air this if it were propaganda,” Howard T. Owens, National Geographic Channel’s chief executive, told the Times.

The story’s comic relief comes courtesy of Harvey Weinstein, the mogul who bought rights to the film for “about $2.5 million.” In August, Weinstein hosted a fundraiser at his Connecticut beachfront home for President Obama. The Times calls him one of the Obama campaign’s ”most vigorous” supporters. But hold on there: Weinstein says he has supported Republican George Pataki and former Republican Michael Bloomberg!

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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