Butler wrote this letter. It's well-articulated.
Short version: Kendt and Hunka are both bloggers that are aware of each other, and freelance writers for the New York Times. The Times sent Kendt to review the run, and then decided not to publish the review because the two were considered "colleagues." Butler, the director of In Public, takes issue with this decision as inconsistent with past practice and bad policy.
More thoughts about it can be found here.
There are comments all around for your reading enjoyment.
My question would be: If, in the estimation of the blogging community, this was overstepping and unfair on the part of the Times...when would it be considered a conflict of interest for one person to review another's. Charles Isherwood reviewing a play by Ben Brantley?
I'm dicey on where the line is.
EDIT: I will add that I feel it presents a difficult choice for someone trying to make their way as a voice both critically and creatively. This does force someone who writes for the Times to choose, on some level, between one ambition or another.
- Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.