1937-2006 – 2:46:35
NOTE: There is some profanity and nudity in this video. Please screen privately before showing it to your class. Key clips to check: The 4400; The Accused; Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy; Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason; Family Guy; Money Talks; Salvador; The Sopranos; South Park; The Insider; Three Kings; Weekend Flash.
Here are some suggested Lesson Plans using this video or supplementing it by showing the complete films excerpted on the video:
1. Compare and contrast the image of the broadcast journalist decade by decade. How has it changed? What are the similarities and differences between radio journalists and television journalists?
2. Discuss the image of the TV Anchorman, from Ted Baxter in The Mary Tyler Moore Show to Anchorman: the Legend of Ron Burgundy. Baxter was the first anchorman to be ridiculed on television. Other examples to use in class: Saturday Night Live Weekend Update; Cold Turkey; Wrong Is Right; Special Bulletin; News at Eleven; Broadcast News; Switching Channels; Max Headroom; Network; RoboCop; E.N.G.; Livin’ Large; The Simpsons; Almost Golden; Up Close & Personal; The Newsroom; Mad City; Deep Impact; From the Earth to the Moon: We Interrupt This Program; Scary Movie 3; Brian Benben Show; The Daily Show With Jon Stewart; Osmosis Jones; One on One; Less Than Perfect; Good Morning, Miami; Bruce Almighty; Commercial: Coke With Lime; The Colbert Report; Pepper Dennis.
3. Discuss the image of the radio journalist in films such as Behind the Headlines; Love Is On the Air; Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; Foreign Correspondent; Meet John Doe; The Hindenburg; Love and Hisses; Winchell; Without Reservations; The Day the Earth Stood Still; Godzilla, King of the Monsters; The Great Man; A Face in the Crowd.
4. Discuss the use of real-life journalists in movies and television, the fine line between reality and fiction. Effectiveness of real-life journalists giving credibility to the films and TV programs in which they appear. Ethical ramifications of real-life journalists appearing in a work of fiction.
Examples on the tape include the following films: 1939 – Mr. Smith Goes to Washington: H.V. Kaltenborn, one of the most famous radio broadcasters in history reports from the Senate chambers about Mr. Smith’s heroic filibuster. 1941 – Meet John Doe: Real-Life Radio Correspondents Mike Frankovich, Knox Manning, and John B. Hughes, well known to radio audiences throughout the country, report on the fictional John Doe convention. 1975 - The Hindenburg: the historic broadcast of the Hindenburg crash by Radio Correspondent Herb Morrison (“Oh the humanity….”). 1937 – Love and Hisses: Gossip columnist Walter Winchell, one of the most famous radio journalists in history. 1946 – Without Reservations: Gossip columnist Louella Parsons could make and break careers in Hollywood through her newspaper and radio columns. 1951 – The Day the Earth Stood Still: World-famous radio correspondents Drew Pearson, H.V. Kaltenborn and Elmer Davis report on the first alien spacecraft to arrive on Earth. 1958 – I Want to Live!: George Putnam, KTTV Reporter-Newscaster, is featured in the crowd of reporters interviewing a woman sentenced to death. 1958 – War of the Colossal Beast: KTLA newsman Stan Chambers is featured along with his station in covering this sci-fi story. 1958 – Cry Terror: NBC-TV broadcasters Chet Huntley and Roy Neal are featured. 1964 – A Global Affair: Today Show and Hugh Downs report on a baby left at the United Nations. 1964 – The Best Man: CBS correspondents Howard K. Smith and Bill Stout cover this fictional election as they did real elections for the CBS network. 1971 – Love Machine: TV anchorman Jerry Dunphy is featured. 1971 – Bananas: TV sportscasters Roger Grimley and Howard Cossel cover the consummation of a marriage. 1976 – M*A*S*H: The Interview and 1978 M*A*S*H: Our Finest Hour: Correspondent Clete Roberts, well-known TV interviewer and correspondent interviews the men and women of the fictional M*A*S*H. 1978 – The Rockford Files: KTLA reporter-commentator Larry McCormick is featured. 1984 – Countdown to Looking Glass: CBS commentator Eric Severeid portrays himself as a commentator at a fictional TV network. 1987 – RoboCop: TV’s Mario Machado and Liza Gibbons are featured as fictional news anchors. 1988 – Tanner 88: A variety of real-life TV journalists are featured. 1988-1998 – Murphy Brown: A variety of real-life TV journalists are featured on the TV program but not in the clips on this reel. 1995 – Indictment: The McMartin Trial: KABC-TV reporter Wayne Satz is played by an actor, but real-life KABC-TV anchor Jerry Dunphy portrays himself. 1995-2004 – JAG: Commentator Bill O’Reilly and Entertainment Tonight’s Mary Hart. 1997 – Volcano: Many real-life local TV journalists cover the volcano swallowing up Los Angeles. 1997 – Weapons of Mass Distraction: TV newsman Sander Vanocur. 1998 – From the Earth to the Moon: We Interrupt This Program: Real-life TV anchors such as Walter Cronkite share the stage with a fictional anchorman. 1998 – LateLine: The McLaughlin Report, columnist-commentator Jimmy Breslin. 1999-2006 – The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 2001 – 61*: Sportscaster Mel Allen is featured. 2006 – The West Wing: Election Day 2006: KNBC TV anchor Paul Moyer for MSNBC.
5. Discuss the anonymous journalist traveling in packs and the image that presents to the public both in fiction and in real life. Perhaps the most dominant and damaging image of the journalist in popular culture is that of anonymous reporters chasing after stories. In countless movies, television programs and novels, they travel in packs, usually armed with television cameras and microphones. They cover fast-breaking news by crowding, yelling, shouting, bullying and forcing their way into breaking news events. There were always such packs of aggressive print journalists chasing after heroes in movies, and they made a negative impact through the years, but their zeal was usually taken in good spirits. Nowadays, they appear far more menacing and out of control because their lights, cameras, microphones, and tape recorders are jabbed into faces of real people on television news and favorite actor in movies and entertainment television programs.
Examples include: Irreconcilable Differences; Protocol; Cobra; Legal Eagles; Switching Channels; The Accused; Miami Vice; Patty Hearst; A Cry in the Dark; Big Man on Campus; Roxanne: The Prize Pulitzer; Money, Power, Murder; The Preppie Murder; Ricochet; The Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader Murdering Mom; The Amy Fisher Story; Hidden Agenda; While Justice Sleeps; Love & Betrayal; Indictment: The McMartin Trial; Scary Movie 3; Final Justice; The Practice; Charmed; Law & Order: Criminal Intent; Boston Legal; Simone; Commercial: Chex Cereal; See Arnold Run; The Sopranos.
6. Discuss the image of the female broadcast journalist. Compare and contrast it with the image of the male broadcast journalist. Examples include: The Mary Tyler Moore Show; Saturday Night Live; Network; Futureworld; ChiPs; First, You Cry, The China Syndrome, The Electric Horseman; Act of Violence; Eyes of a Stranger; Eyewitness; Wrong Is Right; The Seduction; V; Year of the Dragon; Reckless Disregard; News at Eleven; Murrow; Good Night, and Good Luck; Hunter; Broadcast News; Switching Channels; The Dead Pool; Tanner 88; Die Hard; Die Hard 2; Murphy Brown; The Simpsons; E.N.G.; The Image; Eternity; Livin’ Large; Her Wicked Ways; Coach; To Die For; Hero; Natural Born Killers; Love & Betrayal; Almost Golden; Up Close & Personal; Scream; Devil’s Food; Quack Pack; Mad City; Wrongfully Accused; New Batman-Superman Adventures; Naked City; Brian Benben Show; Muppets From Space; My Favorite Martian; Family Guy; Three Kings; Third Watch; Scream 3; Running Mates; Walker; Charmed; Osmosis Jones; Nash Bridges; Xena Warrior Princess; Odyssey 5; Life Or Something Like It; Weekend Flash; Mr. Deeds; Breaking News; Charmed; Live From Baghdad; Dead Like Me; Wanda at Large; Bruce Almighty; Secret Santa; Category 6; Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason; Anchorman: Legend of Ron Burgundy; Claritin D; Criminal Minds; CSI: Miami; Hope & Faith; The Colbert Report; How I Met Your Mother; The Sopranos; Pepper Dennis.