The showbiz side of newsbiz
Martin Bashir has been given a co-hosting job at “Nightline.”
The Anchoress‘s brother was commenting on the state of TV news:
But it’s also depressing, because the movie shows how far we have fallen. The movie is bracketed by Murrow’s famous 1958 speech to the RTNDA, in which he warned that television, unless used responsibly, will end up being nothing more than lights and wires in a box. And that is exactly what it has become. Once-celebrated news divisions are doing hour-long investigations into Paula Abdul and American Idol, and blowing up trucks for dramatic effect, and using fishy documents to make a meaningless and misguided case against the President. All of it in pursuit of profit.
People who are getting their skirts in a knot over the political shadings of the movie are missing the movie’s real point. It’s really about integrity, and credibility, and seriousness of thought. It’s about how the media explodes and distorts — and how television corrupts. The most consistent and insistent image in the movie is cigarette smoke — people are wreathed in haze, and constantly lighting and puffing. The only ad that is shown in its entirety in the movie is for Kent cigarettes. And yet cigarette smoking is what killed Murrow, and eviscerated a generation who bought into its shallow satisfactions, peddled on the tube. These people will eventually be destroyed by the very thing that supported them and made them rich. It’s really a scathing indictment of the culture that created today’s television news business — and a bittersweet glance at what it once was, and promised to be, and isn’t anymore.
Sad, and true.