April 12, 1992
Thank you for attributing the "mad as hell" quote to screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky (Letters, March 29). It indicates you are artistically well-intentioned, but--sadly--misinformed. Howard Beale, as the "purists" you have addressed are no doubt aware, never said, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore!" though others, especially in the latter half of "Network," did. What he said was: "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"--a slight variance, perhaps, but with this innocuous error you have committed the journalist's cardinal sin: You have not checked your source.
June 18, 1999 |
The 1976 release of Paddy Chayefsky's prophetic "Network" was met with wounded yelps from television executives indignant about the bite he took from their hides in his blistering satire of their industry. Many were as publicly critical of the movie as it was of them. And no less than Herself, Barbara Walters, worried aloud that the public would infer from "Network" that television news was "show business." The very idea!
July 18, 1986 |
In the 1976 movie "Network," newscaster Howard Beale, played by Peter Finch, tells the nation, "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." In real life, a Fresno sportscaster, Mike Bryant, did sort of the same thing last week. In the movie, Beale became a ratings success. In real life, Bryant got fired.
May 11, 2012 |
At times"God Bless America"feels more like an assault weapon than a movie, possibly an AK-47. This funny, sick twist of social satire is certainly locked and loaded, even if its aim is sometimes off. The central character is Frank (Joel Murray), a vigilante of virtue who targets the irritants of modern times - reality TV stars, bratty teens, people who check cellphones in movies and a judge on a talent show who sounds a lot like Simon Cowell. The commentary that runs through Frank's head is accompanied by a ton of blood and guts splattered all over the place because, frankly, writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait has a lot he wants to get off his chest.
March 13, 2005
Re "Outfoxing Fox -- Take 6" (March 6): Last year I finally had my Howard Beale "I can't take it anymore" moment and fled CNN for the Internet. Now instead of emoting windbags (they call them anchors) and stenographers embedded with the Bush administration, I actually get incisive reporting from around the world. Like the Democratic Party that's racked up electoral defeat after defeat by trying to be Republican-lite, so will CNN keep losing viewers in pursuit of being Fox-lite. If one doesn't want to watch Fox's faux news, why watch its kinder and gentler imitator?
April 7, 1994 |
Most people imagine government-sponsored conferences to be dull events. But when Edward L. Menning DVM, executive vice president of the National Assn. of Federal Veterinarians, spoke at a food safety summit hosted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington March 31, the audience encountered the Howard Beale of the food world.