NYT's Rohter Finds Parallel Between Tea Party and Chilean Dictator Gen. Pinochet

Larry Rohter, who was perhaps the New York Times' most biased reporter during the 2008 campaign (beating some stiff competition) now works the foreign arts beat. In a Sunday Arts & Leisure profile of Pablo Larrain, director of the movie "No," about the 1988 vote that ended the long dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet, Rohter actually compared Pinochet indirectly to the Tea Party and the libertarian industrialists, the Koch brothers.

In Chile the debate about “No” has also been complicated by noncinematic issues, including Mr. Larraín’s descent from two prominent right-wing families that supported Pinochet. His father, Hernán, is a senator who was also president of the main pro-Pinochet party, and his mother, Magdalena Matte, who served as a cabinet minister in Chile’s current conservative government, belongs to a branch of perhaps the richest family in the country.

There is no exact American parallel, but it is almost as if a director whose father is a Tea Party leader and whose mother comes from the Koch family were to make a movie about Barack Obama. In some quarters of both the political and the artistic worlds, Mr. Larraín, 36, is suspected of disguising himself as an admirer of the No campaign to advance a right-wing agenda that focuses on a heroic outsider instead of collective action by the center and left.

“Here Larraín shows his more conservative profile,” Matías Sánchez wrote in the magazine El Ciudadano. The film, he added, reflects “the crisis of identity of Pablo Larraín himself, who debates between advertising and film, between right and left, between being an aristocrat in Chile and a political filmmaker abroad.”