Here is a definite, certain, undeniable fact: Starting on May 27, Showtime will be zeroing in on the specific ways Donald Trump and his administration have affected journalism and, in particular, The New York Times, with a documentary series that has the working title “The Fourth Estate.” The president, you may recall, has declared war on the press and referred to the Times, incorrectly, as “failing.”
The series will be produced and directed by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker Liz Garbus, whose previous films include “What Happened, Miss Simone?” and “Bobby Fischer Against the World.” Garbus has been filming at the Times and shadowing individual reporters in Washington, D.C., and New York who’ve been covering Trump. According to Showtime, she has had “unprecedented access to the inner workings of the Times, including filming inside closed-door meetings, rare interviews with the editors and reporters who cover the President and the tumult around him, as well as an insider’s view of the Sulzberger family publisher transition.”
Why the Times and not, say, the Washington Post? “The Times is an odd and confounding muse for the current president,” Garbus said in a statement. “Trump craves the positive coverage of his hometown paper while simultaneously denigrating the ‘failing New York Times’ on what seems to be a daily basis.”Matthew Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.