Just yesterday I saw Spielberg's Lost World, and would like to share several concerns I took away from the theater in a forum which might touch others with similar interests First and most pressing, I was greatly disturbed by Lost World's denouement. Golblum, Moore, and Arliss are depicted watching TV in their living room as some of the film's loose ends are tied up: Bernard Shaw, PLAYING HIMSELF, recaps the exciting events, complete with CNN graphics and audio. The issue of distinguishing between 'news' and 'entertainment' is certainly not new, nor are examples blurring such lines, but I cannot recall a more blatant instance of popular cinema taking the stance that such distinctions are immaterial. As a journalist, Mr. Shaw is nominally more than a career teleprompter reader; by this I mean that the content (informative rather than stimulating) disseminated by the media organization he is positioned within carries different connotations (of truth, validity, objectivity, etc) than a simple visual celebrity/personality, like Neve Campbell or Paul Newman. If Mr. Shaw can be paid to read copy for Spielberg, in order to heighten the effect of verisimilitude upon which special effects blockbusters like LW are based, then what(theoretically) is to prevent him from doing this while he sits behind his desk at CNN ? I draw a contrast between Shaw's appearance as himself in LW, with profound implkications, and Stern's self-portrayal in Private parts; which I ouwld not object to on the same grounds. Both are highly visible media figures, but Stern does not occupy the same position within an organzation that has come to provide a substantial fraction of the 'news' many people encounter every day. In my mind, there is a clear distinction, and the attempt at recreating 'news' inside a completely virtual environment warrants discussion, if not censure. What other examples of news or journalistic personalities playing themselves as news providers do the members of Screen-L recall ? Would Spielberg take the time and effort (and expense ? wonder what the check said ) to use a well-known journalist and graphic accessories BEFORE the Gulf War inflated CNN's presence so dramatically? Are there any hard divisors separating actors paid millions from news anchors paid millions, and is LW simply reflecting the similarities linking the two professions which we have yet to acknowledge publicly ? I am reminded of "Bob", the 24-hour personality in Phillip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep". Additionally, how do/would different genre conventions change the connotations of a cameo appearance -- across barriers dividing distinct kinds of media content -- such as this ? Shaw playing himself in a comedy, reporting the obviously ridiculous as the obviously ridiculous does not resonate with me (to provide one opinion) in the same manner. Consider that LW opens with a publically lampooned, disgraced, and discredited Ian Malcolm (Goldblum, playing an academic whose livelihood depends upon his reputation) summoned to a visit with the director of the corporation which orchestrated a cover-up of the truth in the most stereotypical way (by buying everyone), and yet concludes with an equally public vindication of Malcolm's assertions spoken by a figure we have come to associate with delivery of factual information, who is now apparently motivated by money. Here we begin to adress the issue of Mr. Shaw's intent and perceived role in LW. Was this just "fun" for him ? Is there such a thing ? Who was responsible for securing both Shaw and the CNN logo ? I do not recall seeing a reference to CNN in the LW credits. Time Warner no doubt strictly controls the use of CNN logos (the brand-name/quality association corporations and news organizations attempt to create and preserve in peoples minds), why would TW release the use of valuable properties to Spielberg and Amblin ? Would they permit Bernard Shaw to perform as himself in a film by David Cronenberg, or David Lynch ? Are they public domain in any sense, in the way that content in The New York Times may be fictionalized as part of a movie ? Joe Lamantia ---- Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the University of Alabama.