The 17th annual Tribeca Film Festival Closed on Saturday night with the World Premiere of the first part of Liz Garbus’ new four-part documentary series The Fourth Estate. The fly-on-the-wall doc offers an inside look at The New York Times during the first year of the Trump Presidency.
The screening was introduced by Tribeca Co-Founder Robert De Niro who berated Trump for his use of the term Fake News: “it’s a funny thing calling something ‘fake news’ just because you don’t like it. It’s still news and when it’s the truth, it’s the truth and when it exposes you as a liar, a scam artist and a criminal, that so called ‘fake news’ can lead you to doing real time. And I hope I can do that on Saturday Night Live, depose him, interrogate him, then I want to put him in handcuffs and I want to take him to jail.”
Following the screening journalist Ann Curry moderated a conversation with director Liz Garbus and producer Jenny Carchman along with The New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet, Washington Bureau Chief Elisabeth Bumiller, White House Correspondent Julie Davis and Washington Investigative Correspondent Mark Mazzetti.
Curry observed that the term “embedded” when used by journalists is generally associated with the military, but the film shows that they are in a “war for figuring out what’s truth” during this “unpredictable presidency.” Bumiller discussed one of the difficulties of reporting on Trump is that “he says three different things in the same day…you do the best you can.”
Davis noted that for The Fourth Estate they made it a point to film the journalists in their homes to show they are “full people, not just by-lines or talking heads” and while filming in the newsroom, Garber said the crew worked with them to “protect their sources and make them feel more comfortable to let us in.”
The Fourth Estate premieres in the US on Showtime on Sunday 27th May.