Longtime New York Times book critic Janet Maslin, in a panel discussion last night, told an audience that Dylan Farrow had published her child-abuse accusations against her father, Woody Allen, in the Times as a way of “calling attention to herself,” inspired by “sibling rivalry issues” with her brother Ronan Farrow.
On Monday, New York Times book critic Janet Maslin issued an inexplicably hostile takedown of Gabriel Sherman’s new biography of Fox News boss Roger Ailes, declaring the book “tepid” and “disingenuous” while suggesting its author is a liar. The paper’s coverage, which had until that point been quite positive, immediately earned fresh attention from conservative figures like Lou Dobbs and Matt Drudge. Omitted from Maslin’s review, however, was an important disclosure: The critic has maintained a 30-year friendship with Fox News’s editor-at-large, Peter J. Boyer, who plays a prominent role in one of the book’s chapters, and who was personally recruited to the channel in 2012 by Ailes.
What do Motoko Rich, Janet Maslin and Michiko Kakutani have in common? They're all part of a sinister conspiracy against women in general and woman author Leslie Bennetts in particular. In a letter on the HuffPo, the ten-year vet of the Times takes issue with yesterday's Times article suggesting that maybe women don't want to read books about the whole working mother dilemma. She notes that her own book, The Feminine Mistake, has already moved more copies than several other titles to which it is compared and then likens herself to critically-injured New Jersey governor Jon Corzine. But wait, there's more!
The powers that be are, earlier than usual, taking away an hour from the reality-based community tonight. We don't know why they're doing this, or how, but then again, most of the 'gosphere is still on the Julian calendar. In any case, losing the 2-3 AM hour shouldn't be too traumatic, except that the 47-hour weekend leaves us literary dilettantes who dawdled all week with an awful Sophie's choice: do we go back and read the Times review of Kurt Andersen's historical epic Heyday or the Times Book Review review of Kurt Andersen's historical epic Heyday?
At the Times, a bit of the editorial judgment is rendered in advance of a book review based on which critic does the actual reviewing. If Michiko Kakutani takes on your novel, it's a clear signal that it's an Important Literary Effort, worthy of deep analysis and significant enough to merit a serious limning. And sometimes reviews are assigned to Janet Maslin. This was the case for Spy founder and New York mag columnist Kurt Andersen for Heyday, his new historical romp (Stevedores! Daguerreotypists! Fishmongers!). On the plus side, she grades on a much looser curve than Kakutani. So, how'd it do?
A reader reports: "I was in attendance for "An evening with Harvey Weinstein" at the Learning Annex this evening. Actually it was an immense ballroom at the New York Sheraton. The ballroom was full of aspiring bad actors and aspiring bad
directors. Additionally a clutch of people from Flushing, Queens came out to cheer on their home town boy. In fact many found it impossible not to yell out assorted Flushing related messages during the interview."