Why isn't George Packer's terrific little play Betrayed — about the three pro-American Iraqis who don't quite get what they need from America – not doing better? (It opened in February at the Culture Project in Soho, extended its run for a bit, but is slated to close on June 16.) Maybe because he's too good at his day job: Betrayed is based on one of Packer's lengthy Iraq dispatches for the New Yorker, and his natural audience might have simply said goodbye to all that after the original piece appeared in March 2007. But is it still "too soon" to render Iraq as anything other than journalism? Yep. For starters, the war has to be over first.
"Where friends and neighbors are also newsmakers, journalists must guard against giving them extra access or a more sympathetic ear," reads a section of the New York Times' online "Ethics in Journalism" document. "When practical, the best solution is to have someone else deal with them." Makes sense! Which is why we found ourselves stroking our nonexistent beard over Times war guy Dexter Filkins' review today of New Yorker war guy George Packer's new play, "Betrayed," based on an insanely long story Packer wrote last year for the magazine. Turns out the two of them are close pals, which explains so much about both the above photograph and Filkins' (left) review.