Dave Trautman's comments on this issue seem to me to be on the spot, but
his final question prompted a thought:
"I wonder if anyone can think of a movie where a news personality (or =
journalist) appeared as someone other than their "professional self". =
Say, where Walter Cronkite plays the head of NASA, or something =
equally resonant. Like Francois Truffault appearing in "Encounters =
of the Third Kind"."
There may be such a case, but I can't think of one offhand. I'd also
note that aside from Howard K. Smith, I can't think of any sitting Big #
3 network news anchors playing such roles. The journalists who do appear
in films are often those who are no longer with the Big 3, eg., Sander
Vanocur (sp?) and are working for cable networks or local stations.
(Check the limited-run ABC series GUN for such an appearance by Kathleen
Sullivan, which includes self-referential comments about her own career!)
On the other hand, most of the uses of TV journalists that I can think of
seem to have generic limitations--action/disaster films and comedies
seem to be most common. Even when the media themselves are the subjects
of the film, more "serious" treatments (include ones that are largely comic,
such as NETWORK and BROADCAST NEWS) tend to avoid such uses.
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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