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View Full Version : News people in show biz; decades of irritation



Manuel Royal
06-02-2016, 04:49 AM
I wasn't sure whether this bit of grumpiness should go here or in Politics & Current Events.

This has bugged me for decades. It's been going on at least since 1960, but has become constant in the past few years: Actual tv news anchors, commentators, and (to one degree or another) reporters appearing in fictional tv shows and movies as themselves, doing fictional news reports, talking about the fictional characters and events as if they were real. (I just finished watching the latest season of House of Cards, in which I don't know how many "journalists" from CNN, PBS and elsewhere played themselves.)

If I owned a news organization, the anchors would be contractually forbidden from doing this. How can they retain any credibility once I've seen them spouting pretend news with fake seriousness, looking exactly the same as they do when talking about real news? (Not that Wolf Blitzer had much credibility anyway.)

Maybe the problem is the "access journalism" that people like Tom Brokaw made their careers on. (When Nancy Reagan died, Brokaw told a story about how, when Reagan was President, Brokaw made the mistake of writing a factual article about how Reagan's story of having grown up poor was bullshit. After that, Nancy didn't invite Brokaw to get-togethers for a while, but he apologized and she forgave him. In other words, Brokaw, intent on being in the social circle of the very people who should hate and fear him, apologized for having committed an act of journalism.)

If they want to be actors, they should quite the news world and become actors, like Andrea Thompson did.

aleighrose
06-02-2016, 10:57 AM
I think you need to chill, honestly. It's not like you can't tell the difference between fiction TV shows and actual news, so what harm is it doing? Plus, I'm not sure how much reporters get paid, but if they're looking to make some extra cash, no one should begrudge them their right to do just that.

I do agree with you, though, that Brokaw should not have apologized for doing his job. Maybe he just wanted to end any bad blood that existed. Having enemies, especially powerful ones, is never an ideal situation.

Manuel Royal
06-05-2016, 03:47 PM
I think you need to chill, honestly. It's not like you can't tell the difference between fiction TV shows and actual news, so what harm is it doing? Plus, I'm not sure how much reporters get paid, but if they're looking to make some extra cash, no one should begrudge them their right to do just that.The harm is that it blurs whatever fuzzy line remains (in tv networks) between journalism and entertainment. And people like Wolf Blitzer are inexplicably paid millions for their crappy reporting.


I do agree with you, though, that Brokaw should not have apologized for doing his job. Maybe he just wanted to end any bad blood that existed. Having enemies, especially powerful ones, is never an ideal situation.A good journalist should expect people in power to hate or at least resent him; he should not be their friend.

Thanks for the reply; it occurs to me now, though, that any extended discussion of this would make the thread more appropriate for P&CE.