A new batch of documents from a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act request shows that a New York Times reporter sent the CIA an advance peek at a colleague's column.
WASHINGTON — More information is emerging about the access the Obama administration gave to the filmmakers working on the action film “Zero Dark Thirty,” on the raid in which Osama bin Laden was killed.
Emails between CIA officials, White House aides, the filmmakers and others — which Judicial Watch obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request and just released — illustrate how the administration helped the film’s director, Kathryn Bigelow, and screenwriter, Mark Boal.
The new batch of documents also reveals a cozy link between a New York Times reporter and the CIA.
In one string of correspondence between former CIA spokeswoman Marie Harf and New York Times reporter Mark Mazzetti, the writer gave Harf an advance copy of a column by Maureen Dowd scheduled to be published Aug. 7, 2011, in which Dowd took a dim view of the administration’s courting of the filmmakers.
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“This didn’t come from me … and please delete after you read,” Mazzetti wrote, apparently attempting to reassure the CIA people the column wasn’t as critical as they’d feared it would be. “See, nothing to worry about!”
A New York Times spokeswoman called the incident “a mistake that is not consistent with New York Times standards.”
The spokeswoman said in an emailed statement that Dowd had given the column to Mazzetti for help with fact-checking and didn’t know he shared the whole piece with the CIA.
Earlier, New York Times editor Dean Baquet described the apparent lapse a bit differently to Politico, saying it was “an intelligence matter.”