Sparked by a review in the latest New York Review of Books of a West End production of Network – the classic film starring Peter Finch which looked at the dumbing down and sexing up of television – I dug out my old VHS copy to watch last night. The tape must be 30 years old, so its deteriorating quality lent an authentic 1970s feel to the viewing. There is so much in this film that is prescient it is hard to know where to start. I assume it is taught in media schools. I imagine people in Fox News and US evangelical TV channels fail to grasp that it is a satire. One of clues, should they need one, is the name of the terrorist organisation brought in to help keep the ratings up: The Ecumenical Liberation Front. There could have been a role for Father Jack there.
The UK's frozen infrastructure has finally caught up with the Guardian, which hasn't arrived in the far flung outpost of Scarborough today. Thankfully the 'Beast from the East' does not discriminate just against softie lefties, since the Daily Mail has suffered the same fate.