How New Documentary Rules Might Smite the Right

If a documentary filmmaker dreams of winning an Oscar, he or she better hope their project is on the radar of two of the more liberal newspapers in the country.

I-Want-Your-MoneyThe organization that puts on the Academy Awards has created a new rule aimed at narrowing awards eligibility next year to documentary films that are reviewed in The New York Times or the Los Angeles Times, according to sources in the group.

That doesn’t sound horrible at first blush. Both papers offer extensive coverage of documentary features. But often right-of-center films fall through the newspapers’ cracks. And where might that leave a conservative documentary filmmaker bucking for Oscar gold? It’s not as if those papers treat conservative films with the same respect as their liberal counterparts.

The New York Times dragged its feet before reviewing “Atlas Shrugged.” Enter the word “Griggs” into the LA Times’ web site – the conservative documentary “I Want Your Money” was directed by Ray Griggs – and you come up empty. Under the new rules, these left-of-center papers may have even more reason to ignore projects that don’t align with their liberal sensibilities.

Why not include a conservative publication in the mix, like The New York Post, to chase away fears of film bias?