THE RIVETING DRAMA and moral risks that are part of TV journalism offer a fertile field for artists. Paddy Chayefsky in Network told us the story of “the first known instance of a man who was killed because he had lousy ratings.” In Broadcast News, James L. Brooks showed us the real dangers to the soul of journalism when vacuous flash is valued over substance.
What is the clue that enables Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin) to uncover the identity of the Tornado, a notorious international thief, at the conclusion of The Pink Panther 2? Well, I’ll tell you. (Is this a spoiler? In the technical sense, yes, though anyone who imagines that this “mystery” is in any way mysterious is already displaying more imagination than the screenwriters.