Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Give 'em hell, Zell

Zell Miller, the bombastic senator from Georgia who once said he wished we still lived in the days of dueling, will soon be joining, who else?, the Fox News Channel.

Miller, a Democrat who spoke for President Bush at the Republican convention last August, is destined to become a real life incarnation of Howard Beale, the fictional character from the movie Network, which told the tale of a TV anchorman who gained wild popularity by telling viewers to open their windows and shout, "I'm mad as hell and I won't take it anymore!"

This will be a welcome addition to the usual Fox lineup of Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly, whose predictable nightly rhetoric has grown tiresome and predictable.

How often can one bear Hannity's piousness and O'Reilly's "no spin" blatherings?

Greta Van Susteren and Britt Hume remain the only on-camera personalities worth the time.

If nothing else, Zell's Howard Beale number will be unpredictable.

Of course, in the movie, Howard Beale's popularity sprang from the character's downward spiral into insanity.

All we desire from Zell is to be himself. Put him on his front porch in Georgia, his two Labrador retrievers, Gus & Woodrow (names taken, no doubt, from the classic Lonesome Dove), sitting obediently beside him, and let him fire scattershots into the global village wilderness.

If he starts asking viewers to open their windows and shout "We're mad as hell..., " turn off the TV, lock the doors and pray, pray very very hard.

"howard beale"
Why Network is the Great Anti-TV Movie Ever Made
Washington Post story on Fox hiring Miller

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