Political Chaos 2016! “Network” And “Broadcast News” Nailed It! “This Town” Confirms The Shenanigans!

“I know it’s fun. I LIKE FUN. It’s just not NEWS!”

Best movies about TV

“It’s Just Not NEWS!”

This quote sums up the 2016 US presidential election to date. It’s from a movie that imagined the world of television news as something too powerful, too influential – an institution that was changing into the soap opera it was documenting:

broadcst news political reality

“Sorry… sex, tears… this must be the news!”

Shouting, insults, outrageous claims – and yes, “sex and tears” as well – this political season has been more chaotic than ever – and the yelling and screaming are what’s getting all the headlines, rather than the serious topics impacting the country! As Holly Hunter said in “Broadcast News”, to an audience of bored journalists who applauded footage of the world’s largest domino set – while a nuclear peace treaty debate was ignored by all three networks:

“I know it’s fun. I LIKE FUN. It’s just not NEWS!”

Here are two films that accurately forecasted the chaotic political coverage of today:

movies about TV Broadcast news

Broadcast News!

William Hurt, Holly Hunter and Albert Brooks star in this terrific film. This movie takes an incisive look at the changing world of television News.

Here is the trailer for this Oscar-nominated film:

Albert Brooks plays a bitter network News Reporter who watches as Tom Grunick, played by William Hurt, gets promoted based solely on his looks.

The best dialogue – in a film full of great dialogue – is when Brooks explains to Holly Hunter who he thinks handsome Anchorman Tom Grunick really is:

“I believe that Tom, while a very nice guy, is the Devil…what do you think the Devil is going to look like if he’s around? Nobody is going to be taken in if he has a long, red, pointy tail. No. I’m semi-serious here. He will look attractive and he will be nice and helpful and he will get a job where he influences a great God-fearing nation and he will never do an evil thing… he will just bit by little bit lower standards where they are important. Just coax along flash over substance… Just a tiny bit. And he will talk about all of us really being salesmen.

broadcst news political reality

After this heartfelt, serious critique of the universal decline of broadcast news standards, Brooks finishes with a line that is even more telling:

“And he’ll get all the great women.

Sound familiar amid the political discourse of 2016?

The Future Is Here!

I watch the current presidential election with a mixture of sadness and fascination – books will be written dissecting what happened to American politics in 2016. The political climate this year is close to toxic, a sideshow where serious issues are tossed aside in exchange for yelling, insults and sexual innuendo.

worst 2016 presidential debate moments

I Don’t Blame The Candidates!

This post isn’t about a specific political view, or about any one Candidate – this is about how non-stop cable television coverage has influenced how we get our news. After all, TV is about ratings. Donald Trump gets ratings. Yelling and insulting each other gets viewers. So, in our business, when your show gets a number, you order more episodes!

Donald Trump reality star

I do NOT blame the candidates. No matter how you feel about their actions, their accusations or their integrity, we have the ultimate choice – DON’T VOTE FOR THEM.

Our past is littered with presidential campaigns that have gotten down and dirty – but today’s media atmosphere lets the world hear everything live!

Broadcast and cable TV News networks offer instant coverage 24 hours a day – more pundits, more talking heads, more shouting about nonsensical issues…and it all started with one prescient film that saw this day coming:

Network I'm as mad as hell

“I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!'”


This brilliant indictment of television news was Oscar-nominated for Best Picture in 1976 – with an oscar-winning script by Paddy Cheyefky that saw the sordid future of TV – which has come true.

Here are the opening lines of the movie:

“This story is about Howard Beale, who was the news anchorman on UBS TV. In his time, Howard Beale had been a mandarin of television, the grand old man of news, with a HUT rating of 16 and a 28 audience share. In 1969, however, his fortunes began to decline. He fell to a 22 share. The following year, his wife died, and he was left a childless widower with an 8 rating and a 12 share. He became morose and isolated, began to drink heavily, and on September 22, 1975, he was fired, effective in two weeks. The news was broken to him by Max Schumacher, who was the president of the news division at UBS. The two old friends got properly pissed.”

This is a brilliant dissection of a business just waiting to be perverted by greed, money – and ratings.

Take a look at the trailer:

The movie won a slew of Oscars in 1976, including Peter Finch as Best Actor – his nomination and award were posthumous. Finch became the first posthumous winner in an acting category. Faye Dunaway won Best Actress, leading to this legendary photo the next morning.

Faye Dunaway Best Actress Network

Best Actress in a Supporting Role went to Beatrice Straight. Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen was awarded to the brilliant Paddy Chayefsky.

Network I'm as mad as hell

Watching this movie again, and seeing how network news is imagined with live horoscope readings and much more, only makes me wonder what Chayefsky would think if he was with us today.

And if you want to imagine a world where just the act of being on television makes you a star, then look no further than here:


Martin Scorsese imagined a world where fame came from begin famous, no matter how you achieved your fame…the brilliant “King Of Comedy” also previewed a world where being on TV is all you needed – no matter how you got there:


Read more about this brilliant film here:


Finally, the real world of politics has changed as much as television has in the last thirty years:

This Town political book

This brilliant book takes you inside the world of Washington DC to show how the “business of politics” runs – read about it here:


Let me know what you think!

worst 2016 presidential debate moments

Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Albert Brooks, Art, Awards, Books / Media, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, Film Fight Club, Great Films, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Movies, Movies About Movies, New York, Obscure Movies, Talent/Celebrities, TV Show, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 replies

  1. I haven’t seen ‘This Town’, but the others are classics indeed.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. The White House! America’s Most Unique “Rental Property”! Presidential Politics! Biggest President Scandals! – johnrieber
  2. “B” Movies Indeed! My List Of Ten Great Films Beginning With “B”! – johnrieber
  3. Movies With An “N”! My “Movies A-Z” Has Hitchcock! Altman! Julia Roberts Too! – johnrieber
  4. Classic “B” Movies! Body Heat! Battle Royale! Bogart Too! Cinema’s Greatest Films That Begin With A “B”! – johnrieber
  5. Movies With An “N!” From “Notting Hill” To “Nashville!” Heading “North By Northwest”! GOSH! “Napoleon Dynamite” Too! – johnrieber

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Life in a flash - a weekly writing blog

Diary of A Movie Maniac

A Personal Journey Through Cinema & Television

Geeking Out about It

BlerdWatching Waaay Too Much TV

Shock, Schlock & Leftover Film Stock

A bloody valentine to exploitation films, cult film classics, direct to video dreck and other dirty, disreputable corners of cinema history


Tea, Tours and Escapades

Times and Tides of a Beachwriter

Drift among the scribbles of writer Janet Gogerty


This page is dedicated to all things of the past, movies, television, books, etc collected under one page if possible.

Robbie Cheadle

Books | Poems | Reviews

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

Darlene Foster's Blog

dreamer of dreams, teller of tales

Urban Suburban Girl

(adj.) cul – de – sac couture

You can always start now

exploring possibilities

Realweegiemidget Reviews Films TV Books and more

You can take the girl out of Glasgow. Entertainment Reviews from a Wee Scottish Wife and Stepmum living in Finland.

I didn't have my glasses on....

A trip through life with fingers crossed and eternal optimism.

Through the Shattered Lens

Where mainstream meets grindhouse, exploitation, otaku and gamers

The Planking Traveler

planks or it didn't happen

Laura's Books and Blogs

Writing tips, giveaways, reviews, essays, and more!

Binging on a Budget

"Help Me, I'm Poor."

Sunshine with Savannah

Writer aiming to cultivate kindness. | Exploring, learning, scribbling, finding sunshine wherever I go.

Notes from the U.K.

Exploring the spidery corners of a culture and the weird stuff that tourist brochures ignore.

Drew's Movie Reviews

Movie reviews from your average dude

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman

Colline's Blog

a potpourri of thoughts and experiences

Travel with Intent

A photographer's view of the world - words and images to inspire your travels and your dreams

Movie Reviews 101

Daily Movie Reviews & ABC Film Challenge

Cindy Bruchman

Films. Travel. Photography. Books. Let's talk.

Invisibly Me

Live A Visible Life Whatever Your Health


The world's wildest movies from an era of "everything goes!"

Eclectic Alli

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

Rust Belt Girl

reading and writing the Rust Belt

Cult Of The Cinema

Exploring Cinematic Diversity

Retired? No one told me!

Tonight I Dream. Tomorrow I Do!


The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

Suzie Speaks

The Adventures Of a Thirty-Something Life

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Musings on cats, travel, gardens and life

The BookWorm Drinketh

Give Tea to the Tillerman, But Booze to the Bookworm!

Tranquil Dreams

Watching, Reading, Cooking & Travelling

An Historian About Town

History in the Making

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

Adventures and Misadventures in Boulder, Colorado

a mindful traveler

explore, live, love...

It Rains... You Get Wet

Still more lazy thoughts from this one...

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

Admit One Film Addict

Psychotronic Cinema

emmakwall (explains it all)

Film & soundtrack reviews, good humour and lists


Burgers, Books, Music, Movies, Offbeat Adventures & Pop Culture!

%d bloggers like this: