They were also really concerned, I think, with not being seen as engaging in special pleading for the Jews. They worried the newspaper would be looked on poorly – maybe the readership would fall or the credibility of the paper would diminish.
I’ve also heard it argued – and it’s an interesting thing to think about – that prior to December 7, 1941 there was concern that if the war was seen as “the war to save the Jews,” America would not enter WWII. So the Sulzbergers – The New York Times – were trying to be smart about it. [They perhaps were thinking], “We want American involvement in this war because ultimately that will help the Jewish people of Europe, but if we project this as a war to save the Jews, that might actually work against American involvement.”
In your JTA interview, you mentioned that you had to pay over $700 for a 12-second clip of Sulzberger for your film. That sounds like a bit much.
That footage is the only motion picture clip I’ve found of Sulzberger, and it’s him sitting at his desk in the New York Times building. Archival material is really expensive. I’m actually working on a film right now separately from “Reporting on the Times” and our budget is over $60,000 for a 90-minute film for archival material.
It’s definitely a challenge because I’m right out of school – hopefully – by the time this film is finished, and we’re in a recession. It’s really difficult to get funding for the arts. Right now I have a little bit of money from the Bronfman Center at NYU and I have a [fundraising] campaign going on right now on KickStarter.com that ends on Friday. I’ve also been self-funding, but it’s a really big challenge.