Topic: big media
Australian actor Peter Finch won an Oscar from memory in the thrilling 1976 film called Network: A study of the television industry's impact on news reportage and inherent power as a medium.
Tracy Spicer digs into Network 9 in an opinion piece today in the Sydney Daily Telegraph and you can count on the vanity of the media for it to be well read. Mark Ferguson as news reader has been "boned" like the Finch character on the same 6pm news slot as aging washed up Howard Beale. According to the script something wild and outrageous happens on the way to the sacking whereby he becomes a top rating hit again and the 6 pm news becomes a circus act with Sybil the Soothsayer, Matahari gossip corner and so on.
Ned Beatty puts in a stirling performance as the Corporate God, re inventing his screen persona after indignity of the 1971 classic Deliverance where he is the object of desire of a mountain man in all the wrong ways. A few pig squeals later and Ned is at great risk of being typecast.
Of course the real Mark Ferguson is alot younger and probably better looking than Howard Beale and ought not take such a rash course, nor is there reason for him to suffer such a nervous breakdown on screen even if it would get a 50 rating and bailout the 9 Network finances. But it would be great reality tv if it did happen.
Once the conceptual comparison of Ch9 to the famous Network movie is made, one thing is certain. The reptiles in the rest of the television and Big Media industry will pick up the thread. Sorry Mark. So let's just finish with ....good night and good luck.