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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 04:45 AM
Original message
The Holler Heard Round The World....
Edited on Fri Jan-23-04 05:37 AM by Dover
The media circus around Howard Dean's exuberant outburst and his role as champion of the millions of citizens who feel disenfranchised and angry with the status quo, reminded me a little of the issues examined in the classic movie Network, which was ahead of its time. So I thought it might be appropriate to provide a few segments of dialogue from the movie.

If you don't know the story, it's about an angry, emotionally distraught t.v. news anchor, Howard Beale, who after suffering through a period of hardships (both professional and personal) is informed that the network news ratings are sinking and they are firing him. With nothing left to lose he announces while on the air that he will kill himself in front of his viewers during his final broadcast. Howard Beale's personal anguish becomes the news and the ratings go through the roof, as he proceeds to use his last moments in the spotlight to tell the truth about how things really work. This is occurring in an environment where corporate owned networks are beginning to view their news divisions as budgetary drains, and truthful, responsible reporting is being sacrificed for tabloid news (entertainment)...which is poised to be its savior of last resort.

Diana (the VP of Programming): We just increased our audience by twenty or thirty million people in one night. Now, you're not gonna get something like this dumped in your lap for the rest of your days, and you can't just piss it away. Howard Beale got up there last night and said what every American feels, that he's tired of all the bulls--t. He's articulating the popular rage. I want that show, Frank. I can turn that show into the biggest smash on television.
Hackett: What do you mean, you want that show? It's a news show. It's not your department.
Diana: I see Howard Beale as a latter-day prophet, a magnificent messianic figure, inveighing against the hypocrisies of our times, a strip Savonarola, Monday through Friday. I tell you, Frank, that could just go through the roof. And I'm talking about a six dollar cost per thousand show! I'm talking about a hundred, a hundred thirty thousand dollar minutes! Do you want to figure out the revenues of a strip show that sells for a hundred thousand bucks a minute? One show like that could pull this whole network right out of the hole! Now, Frank, it's being handed to us on a plate. Let's not blow it!



Beale's new found stardom as the angry prophet along with the network's willingness to allow him to openly vent his rage and his Truth, is intoxicating, and he begins to embrace his new role as a messianic figure.
Though Beale's mental condition seems to be highly unstable, bordering on psychotic breakdown more than enlightened prophet, he is nonetheless, tapping into a broader collective emotion that draws viewers.

Beale delivers the nation's battle cry with memorable lines in his rage-filled monologues, as the network executives track the responses:

I don't have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It's a depression. Everybody's out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel's work, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter. Punks are running wild in the street and there's nobody anywhere who seems to know what to do, and there's no end to it. We know the air is unfit to breathe and our food is unfit to eat, and we sit watching our TV's while some local newscaster tells us that today we had fifteen homicides and sixty-three violent crimes, as if that's the way it's supposed to be. We know things are bad - worse than bad. They're crazy. It's like everything everywhere is going crazy, so we don't go out anymore. We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, 'Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won't say anything. Just leave us alone.' Well, I'm not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don't want you to protest. I don't want you to riot - I don't want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn't know what to tell you to write. I don't know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you've got to get mad. (shouting) You've got to say, 'I'm a human being, god-dammit! My life has value!' So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!...You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!'



All goes well until Beale, in his zeal, encourages his viewers to turn off their t.v.'s, and then gets far too close to the Truth. Those monologues and the reprimand he gets from the head of the corporation who summons Beale to his office (and lays out the REAL truth of how things work), is the stuff of movie legend. Read portions of the script here or rent the movie:

http://www.filmsite.org/netw.html


Maybe we should all, at an alotted time, go to OUR windows and express our anger like Howard.

P.S. I'm NOT comparing Dean's exuberant hollers with Beale's psychotic episodes. But the issues regarding Truth, collective anger and the media seemed to link the two.
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JailForBush Donating Member (753 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:25 AM
Response to Original message
1. Where's the video?
OK, that's enough. I've heard SO much about Howard Dean's "screech," I need to check it out myself. Do you know if there are any online videos of Dean's performmance?
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mandyky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:30 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Go to the CSpan web site
www.c-span.org and the title is Howard Dean reacts to caucus results is the name, the date is 1-19-04
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:31 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. I've edited my subject heading and replaced the word screech
with the word "holler", because that's closer to the truth. But it did rub some people the wrong way because it was a little too angry sounding perhaps...or too raw in its emotion.

Sorry I don't know where to find a video link, but I'm sure it's "out there" somewhere. After all the discussion and analysis...you are likely to be underwhelmed by the actual footage.
But the media has had itself a ball.
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Brett Donating Member (16 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:30 AM
Response to Original message
2. 
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newyawker99 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #2
13. Hi Brett!!
Welcome to DU!! :toast:
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i_am_not_john_galt Donating Member (229 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:34 AM
Response to Original message
5. Nah, he sounded like a loon
and he passed up the chance to defend his exhuberance and instead excused it tonight.
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:40 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. I thought his explanation was truthful. His supporters had given
Edited on Fri Jan-23-04 05:41 AM by Dover
so much of themselves and were understandably devastated with Deans third place position in Iowa. Dean said he was simply rallying the troops who had worked so hard for him and wanted to let them know he will fight.

What, about that explanation, doesn't ring true?
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i_am_not_john_galt Donating Member (229 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:50 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. He excused it, rather than defending it
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jonoboy Donating Member (759 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:35 AM
Response to Original message
6. I live in Australia and 'the scream' turned me onto Dean!!
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:46 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Lol! That's right mate. You live in the REAL bush country.
And what seems like an outburst here would likely be considered too mild there. I mean, if Dean really wanted to rally his troops the least he could have done was smash a beer can on his forehead while wrestling an croc!!!
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Capt_Nemo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:38 AM
Response to Original message
7. As a foreign sympathizer of Kucinich I must say this "Dean scream" stuff
Edited on Fri Jan-23-04 05:39 AM by Capt_Nemo
Is a load of media BS.

So Dean's scream is "unpresidential", but the moron king's multiple stunts and gaffes go unreported... yeah, sticking gum under the desk in Moscow is pretty "presidential"...

It's time you fight for the freedom of press in the US.
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Dover Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:54 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Well said!!!
Can you imagine the media repeating Bush's gaffe's over and over again? Apparently silence and no emotion at all is less scary (just take a look at Cheney who has to keep his heart going with a machine).

Or maybe the media just saw an opportunity to boost ratings.
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JailForBush Donating Member (753 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-23-04 05:59 AM
Response to Original message
12. Sheez, I missed it!
I visited the link provided above and watched the video. I recall a bit of a screaming moment early in Dean's speech, but it didn't even occur to me that THAT was THE SCREAM the media have been so obsessed with. I watched the entire video, waiting for the magic moment, before I realized I'd already seen it.

I can't say I was really impressed with the event overall. I really HATE politics as usual, with all the flag-waving and rhetoric, and Dean didn't make a really strong impression on me. (By the way, this is probably the first time I've ever seen him live!)

But I suspect most of the other candidates are worse, none more so than George W. Bush. My suspicion of Wesley Clark grows daily, and I hate Lieberman even more than I hate Gephardt. Dennis Kucinich and Howard Dean remain my favorites.

The media BS about Dean's scream is just that - BS. It's not nearly as offensive as the time a certain Republican candidate called a reporter an as*hole.

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