It’s ‘Zero’ hour for watchdogs, media

November 30, 2012Article

As the filmmakers behind “Zero Dark Thirty” launch into an Oscar-season publicity blitz, they are stressing how nonpolitical their pic about the hunt for Osama bin Laden is. President Obama, for instance, appears only in a brief news clip.

The reason is that even before the first frame of film was shot, they’d stepped in to a partisan thicket: Republicans asserted that the Obama administration bent over backwards to help director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal — and may have provided classified material — to trumpet one of the White House’s signature successes.

Greenberg Glusker partner Ricardo P. Cestero, who has a specialty in First Amendment cases, said that while the government provided to Judicial Watch the information that it gave to the filmmakers, when it comes to the names at issue, “There is nothing in the law I am aware of that would compel the government to make those people available to others.”

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