A Latter-Day Prophet/Pundit

Been staying up past my bedtime and re-watching Network. If you’re not familiar, the Paddy Chayefsky creation is one of the finest screenplays ever written. It also eerily predicts the rise of pundit-driven entertainment/news. Many commentators have noted that NewsCorp’s Glenn Beck is a rather transparent re-creation of Howard Beale…

There is a very good reason that you will never, ever catch this movie being re-broadcast on your favored cable TV outlet. This movie delves into the undue influence of corporate conglomerates on the framing of news. It delves into the art of crafting propaganda to quell a populace irritated with the powers that be. It delves into the sociopathic qualities and behavior that it takes to wield power as a capable corporate executive. Sadly, this is a post-structuralist piece that you won’t see unless you go out of your way to look for it.

3 Responses to “A Latter-Day Prophet/Pundit”

  1. What?!? says:

    Are you kidding me? Howard Beale was a fictional prophet that said some of the most profound things to ever come out of a pundit’s mouth. To compare his character to Glenn Beck is insane. Beck has no business being compared to Beale…they’re about as far from each other as you can get. You COMPLETELY missed the point when it comes to both characters. Beale taught people to turn off the tv and take control of their lives…Beck teaches people to fear everything, sell their gold for nothing and to believe disinfo. This comparison disgusts me, and should disgust anyone with an intellect…or who has had the good fortune to watch Network, or the bad luck to watch Beck.

  2. russ says:

    Yes. The main difference between the fictional IBS network and NewsCorp, is that IBS didn’t mind harnessing popular rage and anti-establishment feelings to jack up TV ratings.

    Fox News does the same thing, from a highly-tailored, right-wing, propagandized perspective.

  3. Shannon says:

    I’ve read this paragraph dozens of times and nowhere do I understand the blogger to be directly comparing Beck and Beale. Beale DESCRIBES what Beck is now and urges us to turn it off. Regardless, I’ve never seen Network but I’m going to fix that now. That dramatic, eerie, and moving rant was enough to ensure that.

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