Tuesday, March 24

Why are journalists so thick?

Well, not journalists, columnists. You would think they need to be smart, as columnists are the ones who are easily replaceable by bloggers - they don't spend time and effort (and money) researching information, collecting new facts together, sifting through the minutae of complex political, legal, financial or criminal evidence as real journalists do. They just spout off about whatever they feel like.

I mean, so do I, but I'm not really expecting anyone to read this, let alone pay for it.

So, given that they don't make the effort to discover new facts, you'd hope that they at least had the decency to use real and accurate facts to begin with.

Latest example - a Guardian columnist chooses to complain about the tendency for Hollywood to cast women as mothers who are not much older than the actor playing the son. No mention, of course, of, for example, Sean Connery playing Harrison Ford's father, as this article is really meant to malign Hollywood for misogyny rather than ageism.

But she does list two examples that make you think she's never seen the films. Firstly, that the actress playing Michael J Fox's mother was the same age as him in Back to the Future. Well, the title is a clue - Michael J Fox's character goes back in time, to a point where his mother and father were the same age as he is now. As it is rather easier to make a young actress look older than an old actress look young, they naturally cast actors who could at least pass for 19. Also not mentioned - that the actor playing Michael J Fox's father is younger than him.

Second example - Sally Field plays Tom Hanks's mother in Forrest Gump. Those who have seen the film will know that Forrest Gump is not played by Mr Hanks throughout, but is played by a young boy for the start of it. Again, as it is easier to make a young actress look older, it makes sense to cast an actress who can play the age of young Forrest's mother.

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