and reliable information. We must not let the decisions of one reporter
determine our opinion on the field as a whole.
Ace in The Hole is another prime example of a film about “bad
journalism.” With the plot focus on a man named Chuck Tatum who
exploits a man, Leo Minosa, trapped in a cave for his own professional
benefit, the film is a “prominent example of newspaper noir” (Ehrlich,
2004, 82). Tatum uses his manipulative personality and convinces a
local sheriff to “draw out the rescue effort so that Tatum can parlay it
into a lucrative New York newspaper job” (Ehrlich, 2004, 83). Without
concern for Leo’s life, Tatum focuses on printing a story that will bring
him fame and respect within the industry. Leo eventually dies from
pneumonia, a sickness that could have been easily prevented if Tatum
hadn’t manipulated the rescue efforts, and Tatum, who had finally made
a name for himself within the town on false premises, bleeds to death
from a stab wound. While I believe that the film’s creator wanted to
present an instance of karma, the death scene could have just been a
dramatic Hollywood ending. As for why this movie is directly linked to
“bad journalism,” Tatum lacked ethical and moral values and cared
more about receiving a reward than exhibiting human decency.
Although Ace in The Hole is fictional, such depictions of “bad
journalism” that exhibit the deceitfulness of the press greatly impact the
minds of the viewers.
In his book Journalists in Film: Heroes’ and Villains, Brian McNair
argues that the depiction of journalists in film represents a critique of
not only “the workings of power in capitalism,” but also “the
relationship between media and power” (McNair 18). When
considering the reasoning for such storylines, it is likely because the
profession of journalism itself involves dramatic and stimulating stories
(McNair 25). While many novels depict stories that define journalists as
either heroes or villains, cinema has a much broader reach than any
other media form (McNair 13). Demonstrating the impact of film
portrayals of journalists, “many more people have seen the film of All
The President’s Men than have read the original book by Woodward and
Bernstein,” (McNair 13). Movies have a unique way of capturing
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