The Playgoer: and now, The Nation

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

and now, The Nation

April 3 issue, but now online: "Too Hot for New York" by Philip Weiss.

Once again, full disclosure, Playgoer is referenced and interviewed. But hadly promotional or flattering in its characterization of my more proactive tactics. (See "Kushner", e.g.)

I haven't digested the whole article yet. But Weiss has done some really extensive reporting here. Getting a lot more people on the record, including much more from Kushner. (Heads up: he uses the word "censorship.")

More comments on it later. For now, let's read. The discussion just got even more "political."

3 comments:

Hamlet said...

the Nation piece is an extraordinary piece of reporting. No one can say the blogs overreacted anymore. If anything, the blogosphere was too restrained.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that a potentially important aspect of this story resides in this sentence, deep in Weiss' piece: "By one account, the fatal blow was dealt when the global PR firm Ruder Finn (which has an office in Israel) said it couldn't represent the play."

I think that a lot of the headscratching "how could this happen" shock about NYTW's decision lies in the fact that people think that because a theater presents politically sophisticated and challenging work, the staff of that theater must itself be politically sophisticated. NYTW is a small operation. A check of Ruder Finn's website, by contrast, shows that it is a huge company with hundreds of employees, and offices in 14 cities around the world. Weiss' piece did not make clear whether Ruder Finn has worked with NYTW before, but if it has, and it suddenly said to NYTW, "We wash our hands of this--you're on your own", and NYTW hired them for its presumed sophistication in this area, then, given the tenor and tentativeness of Nicola's comments since this happened, it begins to become believable that an uncertain theater company was essentially scared by its own PR firm into making a decision to avoid trouble--and the PR firm obviously never gave a second's thought to the outrage the cancellation would cause.

Ruder Finn, after all, sells itself in part as a "crisis communicatons specialist", which isn't much of an asset when no crisis exists unless the company can invent one. Perhaps that's what they did. This part of the story seems worth investigating further.

Alison Croggon said...

The political naivetie talked about here really puzzles me. Isn't this a company that has built its reputation in large part on its political courage? How can its administrators be that naive?