Thursday, September 22, 2005

TV journalism & truth... in fiction

It appears there may be more to ABC's new weekly, hour-long Invasion television series than a cursory look might offer. Along with the Invasion of the Body Snatchers plot line, this interpretation of irrational post-millennium, post-9/11 fears masquerading as alien paranoia drama served up some biting commentary on journalism and journalists in its first episode, last night.

Case in point, in the aftermath of a hurricane, TV investigative journalist Larkin Groves Varon (actress Lisa Sheridan) and teenager Kira Underlay (Alexis Dziena) have this exchange following Varon's live hit:


KIRA UNDERLAY: I'd like to be on TV someday.

LARKIN GROVES VARON: Oh yeah, why?

Kira: I don't know. Maybe 'cause you can help people. Like when my mom died, I really couldn't believe it, you know, until I saw the story on the news. Even though there were all of these reporters going on about how terrible it was, but two minutes later they were laughing and talking about the weather. So in a way, it made me feel better.

Larkin: I'm not so sure that's a good thing.

Kira: Me either. But my dad says television's important because it distracts people from the truth. Like with this hurricane. I mean, you know, it's terrible but on the news it'll just be a story. And at first, reporters will be serious about it but after a while they'll be laughing and making jokes. And then everyone will be distracted from what's really going on.

Larkin: What IS really going on?

Kira: The truth.


Ouch.


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