Vanity Fair Redux: Woody Allen’s mystery NYT reviewers

Far more of an eyebrow raise than Kate Moss’ nipples is the curious case of the nameless NYT writers vilified in Peter Biskind’s piece on Woody Allen. Biskind references a “venomous front-page piece by The New York Times” with a “snarky, gloves-off tone,” one which seemed deliberately positioned as a takedown, seen by horrified Allen friends and fans as “a stoning in the public square.” At one time, writes Biskind, Allen had been the darling of NYT film critic Vincent Canby; now the NYT was placing front and center a piece:

so vitriolic that even some people at the paper blanched. “I thought at the time, This is outrageous,” says Maslin. “It was an unusually spiteful and vindictive piece.”

To add insult to injury, it had been written by “two Times reporters with no particular expertise in film.” Who were these acid-tongued poison-penning authors?

Weirdly, Biskind doesn’t say, despite the fact that the article is central to his piece as proof of Woody’s fall from grace. Yet he gives the headline of the article — “Curse of the Jaded Audience: Woody Allen, In Art and Life” which made it ridiculously easy to look up and find the authors’ names: Andy Newman and Corey Kilgannon.

It sounds like there is some fabulous, satisfying d&#233noument here; there isn’t. Google couldn’t find me any evidence of bad blood beween Biskind or Allen and the two writers; couldn’t find any reason why these writers, whose work is discussed and given prominence in the piece, should be singled out for anonymity. All I’m saying is, it’s odd that they would go so studiously unidentified. Got any idea why? Send your best guesses here. In the meantime, I’m still quite happy to blame Pete Doherty.