Network (1976) and What It Means Today

Network (1976) which stars William Holden, Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, and Robert Duvall, deals with a fictional television network, UBS, and the some of the personalities affiliated with that network.  The film is a satire of the news business.  At the time, no one thought of the news as a source of entertainment.  Today, however, the division between news and entertainment has been blurred.  Fact based stories are now laden with reporter and network opinions and commentaries.  Here are two scenes from Network; both with network news anchor Howard Beale (Finch) at the forefront.  The first scene takes place after Beale, who had been going through a nervous breakdown/religious revelation, shows up to work drenched from walking the streets of New York.

After the head of programming, Diana Christensen (Dunaway), realizes how powerful Beale’s message resonates with the public, she transforms the nightly news show into a showcase for Beale’s commentaries.

Network is a fictional movie, but the question remains:  Is Network relevant today?  Can you make a connection between what Beale is talking about to what you see today on television and in the media?

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