Before the election, CNN featured a Coronavirus death counter. Even when the pundits weren’t talking about Covid, the body count was always on the screen.
This is an irresponsible thing for a news channel to do, and I’ll tell you why.
A Covid death counter is more interesting when it is high and when it is ticking ever higher – the faster the better. Consequently, there are now higher-ups at CNN who want more people to die. The problem with a body count is that it requires fresh bodies, and it turns journalists into morbid ghouls.
The best-case scenario with the CNN death tracker is that they will simply inflate the number for ratings. If two sources cite the body count for India as 110,000 and 150,000, CNN is certain to publish the higher number because it is more sensational.
The worst-case scenario is that CNN – and its parent company AT&T – will inflate the body count the old-fashioned way: by killing people. If they could get away with killing us for profit, they might just do it.
Is that far-fetched? The visionary movie “Network” doesn’t think so.
“Network” is an articulate comedy that vividly condemns network news and American media in general.
There might have been a time long ago when newspeople tried to report the news, without political pressure or profit motive.
By 1976, that idealistic notion was history. The line between news and entertainment was already blurring. More importantly, corporations were beginning to buy television networks. Television news was becoming the propaganda arm of the globalist establishment.
Faye Dunaway stars as Diane Christensen. She’s the forward-thinking, amoral head of programming for struggling network UBS. Diane will do absolutely anything for ratings. Her reality show about a domestic terrorist organization – The Mao Tse-Tung Hour – is already a hit.
Diane has a gift thrown right into her lap when drunken old news anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch) starts to lose his mind on air. “Bull**** is the reason we give for living,” Beale explains. “And if we can’t think up any reasons of our own, we always have the God bull****.” The news director wants to fire Howard Beale; Diane wants to make him a superstar.
Howard Beale gets his own prime time show, and his nightly rants are a profit bonanza for UBS’s parent company Communications Corporation of America (CCA).
Profanity, rage, sacrilege, despair … this is all acceptable to the network execs. But then Howard Beale crosses the line and tells the real truth. One night, Beale exposes the fact that CCA is doing a multi-billion dollar business deal with Saudi Arabia and he urges his viewers to stop it.
“Network” reaches a crescendo of brilliant fury when the Chairman of UBS brings Howard Beale into his office.
“There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM and AT&T and DuPont, Dow, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today … We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Mr. Beale. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business.”
These words were true in 1976 and they are doubly true today.
I love this movie. It’s a cinematic cauldron of excitement, pitch-black comedy, and wisdom.
The final scene is perfect. “Network” forces us to ask ourselves whether a corporation cares whether we live or die.
Yes, of course they do. Usually, they want you to live and give them money.
Sometimes, they would prefer that you die.