Steven Spielberg’s “The Post”: An Epitaph For Journalism And Hollywood
Steven Spielberg’s film The Post set for release to a hungry audience, eager to find out Meryl Streep’s views on politics and journalism. Or, “How I Learned to Stop Worrying To Watch This Bomb.”
An honest man here lies at rest,
The friend of man, the friend of truth,
The friend of age, and guide of youth:
Few hearts like his, with virtue warm’d,
Few heads with knowledge so inform’d;
If there’s another world, he lives in bliss;
If there is none, he made the best of this.
An Poetic Epitaph by Robert Burns
Depending on your perspective and ties to the métier, journalism succumbed to complications from a self-inflicted hebetude somewhere in the dim timeline of the past decade. It’s not a field of study, nor an occupation that is any longer considered to hold an earnest value. Colleges and universities have long stopped teaching the unbiased approach of presenting facts without personal inclination.
Journalism is also one of the few professional markets that is no longer growing, or paying a living wage, or providing full-time hours for full-time employees. Newspapers are shutting down, magazines no longer providing a print version, good photographers and copy editors fired to keep a full staff of editorial columnists, despite declining readership, even cable news is seeing a diminution in viewership. “CNN: The most trusted name in news,” now has a viewership that is a third of Monday Night’s professional WWE wrestling.
Most are self inflicted wounds. A generation of journalists that kept an unbiased approach to their job retired, were fired, or replaced in order to light the torch of retribution in political theater. Granted, there are factors beyond bias, like woeful ownership conglomerates, greedily dismantling longstanding publishing beacons to nibble on the assets while spitting out the bone.
Hollywood is also nearing death. Between the allegations of rape, pedophilia, casting couch culture and the preachy politics of a aristocracy gone mad, even the biggest moneymakers from a decade ago are going bust. Stars and studios alike are now witnessing backlash as Hollywood faced its lowest grossing summer of all time, with their award shows completely bottoming out. Audiences were theoretically asked if it’s worth the money to support a culture that lashes out at its audience. The answer was a riotous ‘no.’
Now, in what will be the greatest flop since Heaven’s Gate in 1980, or nearly any movie in 2017, Steven Spielberg is banking on American audiences buying into the overinflated ego and aloof doctrine of both, Hollywood and the press, with his film The Post.
Harvey Weinstein’s most zealous worshiper for decades, Meryl Streep, who referred to him as God, joins Tom Hanks, himself now a would-be political cognoscente, along with David Cross and others who think the vast majority of the country must be told what to think by soubrette savants. And what better time to release the film that intends to rip us further apart than over Christmas? The time when most of us are focusing on family and thoughts that brings us together.
This shoddy, dilapidated concept is based on the illegally obtained and released Pentagon Papers, the gender politics surrounding the early Washington Post. There’s no intrigue. No story. An obvious hit piece on political rivals. It’s been done to death recently and it doesn’t matter anymore.
It’s already understood that Hollywood hoists their agenda as a catalyst by which they march in formation. It’s costing them a fortune, at minimum, to make such muck. Though, when the target audience is the cast of the film, I suppose reasoning isn’t of core importance. Look for it to get the highest marks from every contributing film reviewer and win multiple awards, while ticket sales reflect the real story.
Journalism used to be an honest man, Hollywood used to be a friend of man. All of that is dead and gone and the days of our news being authentic and our movies being charming has long since gone to lie in rest as we send dead flowers to their grave.