CLARENCE PAGE: But the image of journalists as defender of
the little guy was turned on its head in "Absence of Malice."
PAUL NEWMAN, Actor, "Absence of Malice": I'm
CLARENCE PAGE: This time, the innocent man, played by Paul
Newman, is not freed but implicated in a murder by newspaper reporter Sally
Field. Her character was too hungry for a scoop to see that she was being used
by a sneaky prosecutor.
PAUL NEWMAN: You got an obligation to tell the truth?
SALLY FIELD, Actress, "Absence of Malice": Of
PAUL NEWMAN: Well, if you want to know what's true, how come
you don't talk to me before you write what they say?
CLARENCE PAGE: There's a warning here, fellow journos: Check
But if Hollywood
is not portraying very many journalistic heroes these days, it's partly because
the public says they don't see very many. And yet, as much as everyone seems to
say they hate "the media," everyone also seems to have their own
favorite medium, whether it's the New York Times, or FOX News, or "The
People appreciate journalists who connect with them. You
want us to believe your world coverage? Show us how well you do close to home.
MICHAEL KEATON, Actor, "The Paper": I realized,
you know, this doesn't exactly get us off on the right foot.
SPAULDING GRAY, Actor, "The Paper": The right
foot? Are you out of your mind?
CLARENCE PAGE: That's the point of my favorite little
newspaper movie, "The Paper." Michael Keaton is the city editor of a
feisty tabloid. When he turns down a job at a fancy New York Times-type paper,
the spurned editor, Spaulding Gray, loses his cool.
SPAULDING GRAY: Well, I hope you're satisfied, (bleep)! You
just blew your chance to cover the world!
MICHAEL KEATON: Really. Well, guess (bleep) what? I don't
really (bleep) care. You want to know (bleep) why? Because I don't live in the
(bleep) world! I live in (bleep) New
York City, so go (bleep) yourself!
CLARENCE PAGE: I call "The Paper" a romantic
LYNNE THIGPEN, Actress, "The Paper": You handled
CLARENCE PAGE: It's about what news people love about the
news: nailing down the big stories that connect with people where they live. This
time, a movie got it right.
MICHAEL KEATON: Stop the presses!
CLARENCE PAGE: I'm Clarence Page.