I just read the May 31, 2016 article under the above header and it reminded me of James Stewart’s comments about media corruption in the 1948 movie “Call North side 777” and his assistant’s sarcastic comment about freedom of the press as the boss-man senator opposing Stewart (playing freshman senator Smith) was able to get journalists to publish character destroying news stories as Stewart/senator Smith was filibustering the senate to save himself from being removed from the senate through the corrupt power of his boss-man political opponent in that 1939 old chestnut of movie, Mr. Smith goes to Washington.
May 30, 2013
On Friday May 17, 2013 I saw the 1948 movie “Call North side 777” on PBS.The Online critique of this movie set in the newspaper milieu of 1930’s Chicago showing how politics and news media support each other in a way that permits an innocent man to be jailed for cop killing for 11 years is technically thorough but omits the politics-media theme. Re opening the case to free the innocent man would subject the police and the prosecutors that convicted him to unnecessary embarrassment. The newspaper publisher is pressured by the prosecutor and other public figures to stop his reporter, James Stewart, from seeking sufficient evidence to exonerate the guiltless man. The political people finally agree to let the reporter locate evidence that might allow the convict to be granted a pardon, but in a very brief time to avoid extended media publicity. Lucky for Stewart and the innocent man the proof is a single date on a blow up of an 11-year-old newspaper photo.
This notion of cooperation between political authorities and the press is obviously not new. And Canada’s Senator Duffy affair that I first heard about on TV on the 19’th of May confirms the rather close tie between the media and politics likely continues more than 80 years after the events dramatized in “Call North side 777”.