Archives for posts with tag: journalism

Every good journalist knows when something is old news. “Shock and Awe,” the story of the good journalists who were skeptical about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, should get the Pulitzer Prize for irony. Not because the lonely crew of the Knight Ridder Washington Bureau was ultimately vindicated, but because it’s 2018, and every sane person has known for at least 10 years that the WMD excuse for invading Iraq was bullshit. Old news. And it’s not even that good a movie. There are a lot of speechifying moments that smell of made-for-TV fakeyness. Surprise! Rob Reiner directed and co-stars.

It’s a story about journalism hidden inside a story about rock and roll. If you ever wanted to understand the love triangle between sage, subject and story, re-watch “Almost Famous” (2000). For the masses, it’s a fun ride on the wild side of 1970s rock starring Billy Crudup, drugs, music, groupies, fashion and Cameron Crowe’s poetry. Just beneath the surface is a coming-of-age story – two of them – starring Kate Hudson and Patrick Fugit. But way down deep, it’s really Fugit and Philip Seymour Hoffman in a story about a story and the friction between truth, friendship and exploitation. Impressive, huh?

When “Super Size Me” was released in 2004, the whole reality/documentary thing was fresh and new. Now we have ice-truckin’ deadly-catchin’ cable shows dedicated to someday (hopefully?) capturing the first death live on air (George Clooney once said there will eventually be a Snuff TV channel). Watching Morgan Spurlock gorge himself on Big Macs for a month until he has liver damage was pretty edgy stuff six years ago. Like with any activist documentarianism, we’ll never know what he edited out (I think he ate more than three “meals” a day), but compared to Michael Moore, it’s pretty good journalism.