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Monday, November 17, 2008

Blog noir at Patterico's

Wikipedia tells us that "film noir," literally "black film," is

a cinematic term used primarily to describe stylish Hollywood crime dramas, particularly those that emphasize moral ambiguity and sexual motivation. Hollywood's classic film noir period is generally regarded as stretching from the early 1940s to the late 1950s. Film noir of this era is associated with a low-key black-and-white visual style that has roots in German Expressionist cinematography, while many of the prototypical stories and much of the attitude of classic noir derive from the hardboiled school of crime fiction that emerged in the United States during the Depression.

There are plenty of modern-day wanna-be-noir movies, among them Chinatown (1974), The Usual Suspects (1995), L.A. Confidential (1997), The Black Dahlia (2006), and Hollywoodland (2006).

Kim Basinger stars in 'L.A. Confidential' (1996)But my friend and fellow lawyer-blogger Patrick Frey is exploring two frontiers simultaneously: One is the citizen-journalist-blogger paradigm, where a knowledgeable blogger (day job: California state-court prosecutor) digs through the debris that the mainstream media have discarded or, perhaps, buried, to bring you not just punditry but fresh and genuine reporting.

The second frontier is what we might call "blog noir" because it involves crime, moral ambiguity galore, and so many of the sorts of characters that give these fictional films their glamor โ€” the prize-winning star reporter who may make, or cover up, as much news as he reports; the rich entertainer who's been brutally murdered; the snitch; the fall guy; and an assortment of other cops, lawyers, press types, and Hollywood stars and wannabe-stars.  I'm still waiting for Patterico to find a cool blonde dame with legs down to there and an attitude up to here as part of the mix โ€” but Patterico's writing about real life, and maybe there's not a Kim Bassinger role in this drama.

Or maybe she doesn't show up until Act II, which is promised for later.

Mickey Kaus' teaser post could be the blurb for the book jacket:

Poor "Pulitzer" Chuck Philips! Patterico is on Philips' case, he doesn't seem about to give up, and he has a hot doc. ... P.S.: This isn't the embarrassing Philips screw-up that led to a spectacular LAT retraction in April. This is another, potentially more-than-embarrassing, incident โ€” but also related to the Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls murder stories.

Peel this one like an onion, folks, starting with Patterico's executive summary and then working down as deep as you care to drill.

Posted by Beldar at 12:54 PM in Current Affairs, Mainstream Media, Weblogs | Permalink

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Comments

(1) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Nov 22, 2008 6:26:26 PM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: OK, I can see why people are shy about commenting on this post. It is specific and requires a fair amount of concentration to absorb. It also boils down to a mundane point: a MSM reporter is a liar. This is trivial and obvious to anyone but Romanekso readers. But it is the point. The 2008 election did show the press at its worst. I think Glenn Reynolds's analysis is bang right: the press realized that this was likely their last presidential election where they would wield the share of influence they deserved, so they went all out for The One, hoping that he could reregulate talk radio, and clamp down on the Internet, thus saving their phoney-baloney jobs, as Mel Brooks would say.

What Patterico is doing is invaluable. It needs to be repeated on a grand scale, particularly with the Washington bureaus. The press is feeling cornered and the viciousness that marked its coverage during the 2008 campaign is not likely to correct itself as it did after Billyboy was elected. If The One fails, the press is finished. It may be finished anyway, but the press has chosen its course and will not turn back. It will be a gaudy show, with lots of blood shed.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

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