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Uncle Barky Makes The New York Times

by Jerome Weeks 1 Oct 2012 8:14 AM

Ed Bark, former Dallas Morning News TV critic, gets called in to write a review for The New York Times. Does this make him a ‘replacement reviewer’? Can he call a ‘holding penalty’?


UPDATE:  Folks from The Human Rights Initiative of North Texas were among those in the audience at a special preview screening and panel discussion of Half the Sky at KERA yesterday.

Ed Bark, former Dallas Morning News TV critic and sole proprietor of, has a review today in The New York Times. He steps in to review Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunities for Women Worldwide — a PBS documentary running tonight and tomorrow on KERA-Channel 13 at 8 p.m. — because the show is based on book of the same name by NYT op-ed columnist Nicholas D. Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, former NYT foreign correspondent. Conflict of interest and all, if the NYT reviews the work of its own.

But, Ed points out, the names that are more likely to draw viewers are the ones who accompany the couple on their survey of gender-based injustice, including sex trafficking and female genital mutilation, names like Meg Ryan, Eva Mendes and Diane Lane. They’re assisted by ‘additional advocates’ such as Hillary Clinton and Gloria Steinem.

Ed decides that Half the Sky “can’t be called entertaining television. But it is thoroughly edifying, handsomely produced and buoyed by brave, resilient people fighting for basic equality. [The women fighting against violence] Annie Kendeh, Somaly Mam, Rebecca Lolosoli and others are the real stars.”