Tuesday, March 12, 2019

TV: Truth and lies

Truth, justice and the American way?  That's what Superman fought for.  TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES?  Not so much.  In fact, they're currently standing in a puddle of deceit each Thursday night.

Hold on, we'll get to it.


Truth -- or the pursuit of it -- is a staple of television.  So-called 'reality' TV is illusion and fakery sold as the search for truth but, honestly, there was more truth sought in a "Take the test!" episode of Jerry Springer than in a full season of THE BACHELOR.

Around the world, people are hungry for the truth -- probably because we're fed so many lies.  Sometimes, we are lied to for nefarious purposes, sometimes because some idiot thinks they know better.  Which reminds us of the "Storage Wars" episode of HOT IN CLEVELAND (here for our real time call out). If you missed it, Victoria discovers a letter Abe Lincoln wrote in which he confesses to an affair with an intern. Melanie convinces her to bury it.  You have a piece of history, details that can flesh out not only the Lincoln White House but also issues of power and abuse.  (For the record, the letter only existed in the fictional episode.)  And the message is to bury it?  Who gets to decide to bury history?  That episode was so offensive on so many levels.  But it also goes to why some lies are told.  People who think they know better, think they have the right to decide what we can watch or hear or know.

Which may explain the Secret Service's desperate search for photos of JFK and Marilyn Monroe in the days after her death -- as they went from one photo service to another, grabbing pictures and destroying them.

That might explain those actions.  Then again, that might not.

The need to know the truth is why some consume mainstream media -- more and more, though, it's obvious that MSM is focused on something other than the truth.

Sunday on ABC's THIS WEEK, Terry Moran noted a few obvious -- and honest -- points:

No, but the most central and most serious question in this investigation -- the reason Robert Mueller started it -- is: Did the current president of the United States assist the Kremlin in an attack on our democracy? And if Mueller, after two years, comes back and says, "I don't have the evidence to support that charge"? That's a reckoning. That's a reckoning for progressives and Democrats who hoped that Mueller would essentially erase the 2016 election. It's a reckoning for the media. It’s a reckoning around the country if, in fact, after all this time, there was no collusion.

Martha Raddatz and Pierre Thomas basically ignored what he said -- which was how you knew it was true, the awkward truth.

Top Democrats are now running around admitting that the collusion narrative they've drilled into voters' heads for 2+ years was fantastically wrong. But they'll never pay any real price for this. No matter how spectacular the failure, political and media elites don't get punished

Two years of this nonsense and it still continues.  Not to mention how this nonsense has helped re-start the Cold War.  And if it all ends up the nothing that so many of us have said it was?  Will they get honest?  Will they apologize?


This has been their non-stop Chandra Levy nonsense, distractions while the country should have been paying attention to real news.  The corporate media is an embarrassment and public trust in it is at an all time low.

The search for truth fuels the consumption of independent media in the US.

The reality is that the bulk of so-called independent media is nothing but partisan spin where people willingly give up their own independence to become a front group for this or that political party.

SECRET CITY has a second season that's streaming on NETFLIX.  The Anna Torv-led series revolves around Harriett.  Season one found her searching for truth as a journalist.  Her pursuit of truth led to her being imprisoned.

If that seems a cynical fate, grasp that it's not a new view.  The original truth teller, Cassandra of Greek mythology, didn't fare much better.  Season two finds Torv's Harriett released from prison and working for a politician as she continues her search for the truth.  There are twists and turns and it is a satisfying follow up.  Anna Torv remains one of the finest actresses working in television today.  But, that said, we honestly fear season three.  We'll be watching to be sure, it's a great show.  But Harriett suffers so for pursuing the truth.

"The snakes in our government bite and then slither back into the cracks.  This country is broken."

That's a quote from a character in AMAZON's THE WIDOW.  Kate Beckinsale stars as Georgia Wells, a woman determined to find out whether or not her dead husband is really dead.  While SECRET CITY builds on suspense, THE WIDOW builds more around action.

What we found most impressive about THE WIDOW is that Georgia can process.  Too often, a show about the truth ends with the truth discovered.  Georgia discovers the truth and discovers it -- and the man -- really don't matter to her.  She adapts and the story continues.

That's a little closer to life and reality.

Meanwhile, TCM can't get further from reality.  Thursdays this month, TCM is saluting "Journalism in the movies."  And it's doing so with hosts Anderson Cooper and Carl Bernstein.

Are you scratching your head yet?

Thought so.  Anderson a talking head, a talk show host -- he's not really a journalist.  Just because he no longer hosts THE MOLE doesn't make him a journalist.  But let's forget him and focus on Carl.

The breasty Carl Bernstein is on TCM why?  Those MOOBS don't need to be sported, let alone shown off.

More to the point, any career Carl had in journalism died in the 70s.

He's of no use and no value to anyone.  Yes, he has barked on MSNBC repeatedly about Russia -- that nonsense that hasn't panned out all this time later.

He's a joke.

But that's not why we're objecting.

How can you salute journalism and the movies with Carl?

Nora Ephron was married to Carl.  He cheated on her -- and worse.  She wrote a book about her life then, a comic memoir.  Carl was fine with that.  He fancied himself a writer and wasn't all that impressed with Nora's writing.  That's why he never objected to HEARTBURN -- not when Nora was writing it, not when it was being published, not when Nora was promoting it.

What happened next?

Mike Nichols wanted to make a film of HEARTBURN.  Suddenly, Carl was alarmed.  He threatened to sue.  He demanded changes.  He championed censorship.

The film bares little resemblance to the book and that's due to all of Carl's censorship demands.

After what he did, you don't bring him on as a host and you certainly don't promote him as a "truth teller."  Truth telling requires telling the truth and when you threaten to sue your ex-wife over how she portrays your very public affair, your very public cheating on her (everyone in DC knew Carl was cheating before his pregnant wife Nora did), you lose the right to be seen as a truth teller.  TCM makes a mockery of truth and journalism by utilizing Carl Bernstein.  More to the point, they make a mockery of movies.  Mike Nichols was very talented, Jack Nicholson is one of the country's finest movie stars, Meryl Streep was eager to play Nora.  All three suffered as a result of Carl's efforts at censorship.  Carl Bernstein does not belong on TCM.  Ever.

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