Nothing gets the tabloids going like a good old-fashioned public spat between two documentary filmmakers. Times have changed but that cultural touchstone has remained hot fodder. As such, Ken Burns' criticism of The Last Dance director Jason Hehir's handling of journalistic standards moved a lot of magazines.
It appears that any beef is now squashed as Hehir joined the Dan Patrick Show this morning to reveal Burns reached out to further explain his comments.
"Ken Burns is one of my idols," Hehir said. "He's got an extraordinary body of work and he's one of the reasons why I wanted to do what I do now so I was a little disappointed that he hadn't seen it yet and he seemed to be casting judgement. He called me the other day, and couldn't have been more gracious, and couldn't have been more classy and said that he apologized not for what he said but that it was taken out of context."
Burns went on to explain that the PBS world doesn't allow those with connections to the subject to be part of the process. Obviously, Michael Jordan had significant influence in what was presented and what was not in The Last Dance.
Hehir was extremely complimentary of Burns. Reasonable minds can see two guys approaching the same basic job from different angles. And each succeeding in creating compelling content.
So, no big sexy docu-feud to boost ratings and captivate a nation, it seems. All hope is not lost, though. Ezra Edelman and Michael Moore could get into it to fill the vacuum.