Hosts like Alex Jones and Bill O’Reilly and others have been highly effective at capturing the same ratings magic pilloried in Network. And in O’Reilly’s case, at least, his own offscreen behavior — and the profit-driven corporate model — finally took him down. Where Jones will end up is an open question. But if Network was trying to be cautionary satire that steered us away from the dangers of conflating informing the public with entertaining it, it failed. Today, it just looks like prophecy.
April 22, 2017