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Serendipity Too?

…or more coincidence.

The thing about being an analyst is that you start looking for patterns, so you may see things as connected, that aren’t actually. You don’t quit because you will also stumble across patterns that others missed, which is why you need to have more than one person review the facts.

This seems to be a time for dying directors, and Sydney Pollack just passed away this week. His last project was the HBO movie on the Florida 2000 election, Recount, but his illness forced him to withdraw from the directing of the film, and retain only executive producer credit.

More than three decades ago he directed the film, Three Days of the Condor, about a CIA rogue operation that came apart. In the last scene the hero is hoping to get clear of assassination attempts by revealing what he knows to the New York Times, but the corrupt CIA official asks him “How do you know they’ll print it?”

This was the Watergate era, so everyone smugly assumed, of course they’ll print it.

These days a lot of people are discussing Scott McClellan’s new book, in which we are told – no, they probably won’t.

Of course, some people still act as journalists, like McClatchy, which used to be Knight-Ridder. On their Nukes & Spooks blog, Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay explain in their article, Here’s What Happened. Their major gripe is with the people in the media who claim they weren’t playing along with the Hedgemony’s propaganda machine. It wasn’t bad intelligence, it was bad reporting that failed to fact check anything. Some people did their jobs, and they were isolated and harassed for it.

For a very interesting and insightful take on Scott McClellan and his book, go read Rook’s post, The Courage To Change The Things He Can. Rook makes the point that McClellan is the first person in the Hedgemony to actually admit that he personally did something wrong. He knew what he was doing was wrong when he did it, and he now admits it. Rook notes that the revelation isn’t obvious, but that is what is going on in the book, the first instance of someone taking personal responsibility for their actions in this administration.

5 comments

1 jams o donnell { 05.31.08 at 6:08 am }

A sad loss. My favourite film of his was They Shoot Horses, Don’t They.

2 Rook { 05.31.08 at 9:22 am }

Wow! I am lumped in a post with Sydney Pollack? Way cool. I loved his movies. I even read the book “Seven Days of the Condor” that the movie “Three Days of The Condor” was based on. At the time, I was upset at the change of ending, but now, it seems to have been a much more accurate portrayal of what really motivates our foreign policy. Oil, not heroin.

3 Bryan { 05.31.08 at 10:58 am }

He did a number of pointed films, and I considered throwing in Absence of Malice that deals directly with the interaction of the government and the press.

That was a great piece, Rook, from a different perspective. You get to a different, and perhaps more hopeful, point from the book. It would be nice to think that we will get some truth from these people, without having to depend on Congress and courts.

4 Kryten42 { 05.31.08 at 8:04 pm }

He was a great Director and will be a huge loss. There are not many like him these days. I also like Three Days of the Condor, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They, and others.

A friend just returned from the USA (and said he won’t be going back for some time) with a copy of Recount. I look forward to watching it in the next couple days. 🙂

A sad loss.

5 Bryan { 05.31.08 at 8:42 pm }

He seemed to do a lot of spot on political films that people didn’t get at the time.

See Absence of Malice if you would like to understand the relationship between the media and the government. If you’ve seen the film, you know all there is to know about the Wen Ho Lee and Richard Jewell incidents – the government using the media to persecute innocent people, because they don’t have the evidence to prosecute anyone.