Great podcast. Apparently the old story that I wrote about here a couple of years back of me showing "Network" to my folks and my father really liking it (repeated elsewhere with additional details) was part of the drive that made JB and Patrick sit down to watch/talk about "Network." Love the way JB admits that seeing this at age 14 made him the cynical person that he is today; as someone that saw "Network" for the first time at age 13 (dubbed in Spanish) I can relate to this having a huge impact in my ability to see movies as more than just an excuse to show cartoons and blow up cars. This is the type of movie that separates someone truly cynical like JB and myself from not-so-cynical folks like Doug (Patrick's friend and frequent co-host) who is more of a goofy-and-clownish cynical than the truly cynical person that loves going to the dark places that "Network" took us back in '76 that have since become fodder for "30 Rock" or "The Daily Show." Duvall's character is every member of NewsCorp that supports for/works for/is related to/is Rupert Murdoch, and Diane Christensen is every network VP that approves of/produces every sleazy news magazine and/or tabloid reality program that keeps a quality drama from ever getting made. There's few Max Schumacher-types left, and they're either dying/dead (Andy Rooney, Peter Jennings, Don Hewitt, etc.) or have sold out to the beast that is the infotainment industry (Brian Williams, when I don't think of William Hurt in "Broadcast News" I think of you). And Paddy Chayefsky must have truly loved television (what it stood for and its potential to be a tool for good things when he wrote for it) because only someone that loves something so much can tear it down with as dark and precise a brutal satire as he does in "Network." This and "The Exorcist" (written and produced by William Peter Blatty) are the best examples of Hollywood letting the writers be in charge of making a movie (not just the screenplay but also casting, selecting the director, working with the studio, etc.) resulting in a classic. It's no coincidence both came out in the 1970's.
Little trivia left out of the podcast (had to keep the show as close to an hour as possible): a young unknown actor named Tim Robbins plays one of the two assassins that take down Howard Beale in the end. No wonder Robbins and Susan Sarandon were such radical Hollywood celebs for so long: Tim was a member of the Ecumenical Liberation Army in his youth!