Quotation by Richard Schickel

What we get on television is not a headline service but a tabloid service. It takes that old format to its logical extreme, since manifestly television is all pictures, for which anchormen and reporters merely provide captions. Some stories, alas, cannot be illustrated. Usually they are the complicated and boring ones—about the economy or foreign policy, let us say. The inherent demand of the medium is to get through this stuff as quickly and painlessly as possible, cut from the talking heads to the crying heads (disaster victims, let us say, or political loonies), or better still, running feet or rapidly moving vehicles—explosions, riots. Like the tabloid journalists before them, the television crew is always on the alert for an emblematic figure and will thrust a moment of fame on anyone who is eyewitness to a disaster.
Richard Schickel, U.S. film critic. "Where We Came In," Intimate Strangers: The Culture of Celebrity, Doubleday (1985).
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