After some technical difficulties, Dr. Brook outlines the show. He wishes everyone a happy Columbus Day and sets the tone for the show. He will be talking about economics, something that some people may find to be dry and boring. But not with Dr. Brook. He enlivens each talk about this subject with easy-to-follow examples, and he explains big words so that anyone can understand the arcane terms. Dr. Brook points out that if an employer doesn’t pay you for the work you do and you deserve it, then you should go to the intelligent employer or remain at the level for which the original employer will pay you.
The fifth episode of The Loudest Voice makes clear what the series has been more than hinting at all along: it was Ailes more than anyone else who put Trump in the White House. Or, at least, the coming attractions do, after we see Ailes do his utmost to get Obama to lose in 2012. Ailes blames his failure on that score to the lameness of Romney as a candidate.
Another powerful episode of The Loudest Voice last night—1.4—in which Roger Ailes lays bare the basis of fake news: "we create the news'. I should say, the basis of real fake news—that is, news that is fake. We need to make this distinction because Trump now daily bashes our legitimate news media as fake news—which would be fake fake news—a tactic that comes right out of Hitler's denunciation of the press in 1930s Germany as the Lügenpresse (the lying press). When you're trying to replace democracy with a totalitarian regime, it's wise to discredit and get rid of the people who can call you out on that and let the rest of the country know—the press (See my short book, Fake News in Real Context, for more).
It was a beautiful sunny day today. But I found myself inside, watching TV.
The Loudest Voice just launched on Showtime last night, with an episode about the launch of Fox News. Or, more specifically, about how Roger Ailes (stunningly portrayed by Russell Crowe) launched Fox News, and with just about everyone else on the screen (the screen of The Loudest Voice) kicking and screaming. That includes owner Rupert Murdock, and just about everyone else in Ailes's orbit.
I thought the second part of the first 2020 Democratic Presidential debate was better than the first part, in that more of the ten on stage had standout moments. My assessment follows, in descending order of what I thought were the best performances:
I thought the first Democratic debate—the first of two—was excellent and inspiring. Here are my thoughts on the winners and losers:
Before House of Cards, before The West Wing, there was Washington: Behind Closed Doors. Broadcast in six parts on the ABC network in 1977, it followed hot on the heels of its source novel, former Nixon aide John Ehrlichman's Roman à clef The Company(later republished under the miniseries' title). The result is an intriguing blend of fact and fiction.
America is in a tumultuous stage in its history. The reality of the political sphere is a fascinating beast, and you are missing out if you don't stay updated.
Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (real names Mischa and Nadezhda respectively) are an enigmatic television couple that in their marital situation seem unlike any other romantically involved pair in their arranged, falsified marriage. Yet through compelling characterisation and writing, both are humanised with deep empathy to display that their marital woes are not so dissimilar to any other’s couples. The show constantly worked in binary oppositions to display the tense environment surrounding the Cold War in the 1980s as Elizabeth and Philip as Russian illegals working for the KGB defend their country against Reagan’s America. From the outset of the show’s conception, it is easy to see that Philip and Elizabeth too are polar opposites as Elizabeth’s steel determination and patriotism is juxtaposed with Philip’s sympathetic outlook to America and its culture as well as his exhaustion from his job. This already shows their relationship to be problematic and with arguments and temporary separations already brimming amid the show’s beginning, their marriage is only further challenged and deepened from there on as they deal with parental anxiety for their very American children in a highly protective culture that was so alien to them upon their arrival.
In the last sequence that ends the haunting finale of The Americans, the car carrying former Soviet spies Elizabeth and Philip Jennings, who have fled back to their homeland after years of posing and living as suburbanites in the United States, all while carrying out their (at times) murderous mission, are finally coming home. Years after Mischa and Nadezhda arrive in the United States to become Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, it has all finally fallen apart.
An exquisite, satisfyingly restrained, even beautiful finale to The Americans last night—a series which only in this, its sixth and final season, has become, in my view, one of the finest series ever on television. This is because, although the series started as gangbusters in its first year, and although it never lost the astonishing originality of its premise and first season, it meandered, almost got repetitive and stuck in a quagmire in subsequent years, only to reclaim the best that it was was and exceed it in this last season.