Blogs » Your Advocate: an editor's blog » How Hollywood thinks journalists ambush subjects of stories


I thought I was going to see a romantic comedy ("27 Dresses") today, but instead Hollywood subjected me yet again to its low opinion of journalists. Perhaps I'm overreacting. Almost all of the main characters, not just the journalists, did some pretty horrible things to further a derivative comic plot.

For obvious reasons, I'm hypersensitive to Hollywood's portrayal of journalists. My personal theory is that Hollywood turned on journalists somewhere about the time of "Absence of Malice," which came out in 1981. I haven't tested my theory, but I recall growing up when reporters were always heroes, as in "All the President's Men" and many movies before Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford brought down the White House.

In "27 Dresses," a reporter for the New York Journal, a thinly veiled version of the New York Times, doesn't bother telling Kathryn Heigl's character that he's writing a story about her. For the record, the Society of Professional Journalists' code of ethics contains a litany of reasons why journalists would never do this.

Ah, well, that's showbiz. I doubt doctors think much of "Grey's Anatomy," the TV series that vaulted Heigl to stardom.