For those who have never seen, let along heard of the 1976 movie "Network", you should. It's a remarkable film that so acurately predicted what we're seeing today, it's almost freaky.

Written by Paddy Chayefsky, Network is about a fictional fourth national television network emerging in the United States (ABC, CBS and NBC being the only networks at the time). This struggling network, UBS, turns it's news division over to the entertainment division in order to help boost ratings. This shift allows UBS to give Howard Beale, an aging news anchor, his 2 weeks notice making room for an anchor who can get better ratings. Instead of leaving his news desk quietly, Beale announces live on the evening news that he is going to "blow his brains out" during his broadcast the following night. His suicide threat generates such high ratings that the network decides to give him his own show where he can rant and rave about anything he likes.

Chayefsky wrote a film about a network willing to take advantage of a mentally ill man by placing him on the air and allowing him to make a fool of himself every night all in the name of ratings.

Sound familiar?

Here's a sample of the film's fictional "The Network News Hour staring The Mad Prophet of the Airways, Howard Beale"...


And here is what is on a very non-fictional network today...


Life imitating art in ways it never should.