What We Are Reading Today: Truth in our Times by David E. McCraw

Updated 15 March 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: Truth in our Times by David E. McCraw

  • The author recounts his experiences as the top newsroom lawyer for the New York Times during the most turbulent era for journalism in generations

In his new book, Truth in Our Times: Inside the Fight for Press Freedom in the Age of Alternative Facts, David E. McCraw recounts his experiences as the top newsroom lawyer for the New York Times during the most turbulent era for journalism in generations.

“McCraw, the New York Times deputy general counsel, takes us behind the scenes of the venerable (or failing, depending on your perspective) New York Times,” said Preet Bharara in a review published in the daily. 

A self-professed “raving moderate,” McCraw is in prime position to provide this backstage view as he draws equally on his experience as a writer and a lawyer. He excels at both, explaining legal issues in lay terms and unspooling the stories that propel the book, added Bharara. 

“McCraw is rightly proud of his role in defending The Times in so many controversies. But there is also a whiff of helplessness in his telling about the degradation of truth and of people’s trust in the press, neither of which is really a matter of law or legal policy,” said Bharara.


‘The Hummingbird Project’ leaves Jesse Eisenberg in awe of Salma Hayek

Updated 20 April 2019
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‘The Hummingbird Project’ leaves Jesse Eisenberg in awe of Salma Hayek

At 35, Jesse Eisenberg has already had an accomplished career, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, a published book of short stories and nearly defeating both Superman and Batman in “Dawn of Justice” (2016). Still, when Salma Hayek walked on the set of “The Hummingbird Project” (2019), his latest film directed by Kim Nguyen, Eisenberg did not know what to do with himself.

“To be frank, she’s intimidating to me. Not only did I grow up watching her, but she’s one of the actresses who transcends the profession. She’s almost more iconic than she is an actor, even though she’s a wonderful actor,” Eisenberg told Arab News.

The feeling was mutual. The Lebanese-Mexican actor, who has also found success as a producer, CEO, and activist, including spearheading an animated adaptation of Khalil Gibran’s “The Prophet,” saw something in Eisenberg as well.

“In person, she came up to me and said, ‘I suspect you have other ambitions, don’t you?’ I said, ‘yeah, I write plays, books, and I’m involved in other stuff.’ She said, ‘Yes, I can tell. You remind me of myself.’”

“I thought it was so nice, and I really admire what she’s doing. In fact, she’d written a piece for the New York Times about Harvey Weinstein that was coming out the next day and she asked me to take a look at it… It was phenomenal. She was able to write not just about assault, but the humiliating and constant whittling away of her own agency by this horrible person,” Eisenberg explained.

In “The Hummingbird Project,” Eisenberg and Hayek’s characters are competing to create a direct connection to the New York stock market, in order to get a competitive edge in high frequency trading. Hayek plays Eisenberg’s former boss, someone his character is still intimidated by, as art imitates life.

 “My character thinks of her as this icon. The fact that she personally carries so much power was very helpful to me and for the scene,” Eisenberg said.