“He said.” When the press takes the corrupt

Abu Dhabi (Al Ittihad)

On the power of the press, the tyranny of the influential and their domination, their constant quest to get away with their crimes, and the weakness and submission of the victims,” ​​he said “comes to howl powerfully in the face of the world so that wakes up and wakes up, maybe he will no longer allow such crimes.
The new film, which opened yesterday in the United Arab Emirates, tells how two prominent journalists of the New York Times managed to expose the practices of the emperor of Hollywood, the film producer Harvey Weinstein, who for years has been wreaking havoc in the capital of world cinema and committed many crimes of rape and molestation, with no one daring to prosecute him or anyone revealing his affairs Weinstein was knocked down thanks to a series of investigative reports published in 2017 by journalists Megan Twohy and Judy Kantor, for which they deservedly won the Award Pulitzer .. Both have a long history of hunting down crimes of harassment and abuse of women in institutions and companies.
The film embodies the exciting facts recorded by Toohey and Kantor in the book they published of the same name in 2019.

In the book and film (and in reality, of course), women were the shining stars, worthy victims, and undisputed heroes.
The film represents a new meeting point between journalism and cinema in the kinship relationship that has been going on for many years between the media and the seventh art. The media, with its heroes, stories and struggles, has always been a fertile and stimulating ground for filmmakers.
But some believe that “She Said” is the best of them.. maybe because her real story represents a new development, as she seems to be a witness of the era, making history by writing new endings for it.. different endings that those who have influence and power they did not desire. The paper’s first report on Weinstein was 3,300 words long, prompting strong reactions from women who had been subjected to sexual abuse and abuse across American society. The series of investigations fueled the #MeToo wave, with an outpouring of feminist testimony against dozens, if not hundreds, of male abusers. The issue has turned into something like a women’s revolution .. “The story is bigger than Weinstein .. It’s about the system that protects abusers,” as Judy Kantor told her colleague in one of the scenes in the film .
The book and film reveal a major flaw in America’s democratic system and workplace in the modern era. The victims remained silent for many years. They fell into the abyss of merciless suffering, and there was no way to escape. They suffered harassment, abuse, and horrific physical and psychological abuse by influential men with power and dominance in an industry under the overwhelming lights. suffering.
And when New York Times reporters tried to get them to speak up, it was a tall order. Silence was their weapon to survive despite the suffering.

The most difficult task for Touhy and Kantor was to get victims to speak their names frankly and reveal what they had been subjected to so that what happened attributed to them could be published. The poster for the film sums it up, showing a woman in the shadows with the bewildered question: “Should I take note of what you say under your name?”
They want to continue their path in life, despite their overwhelming sense of humiliation and humiliation. Most of them have signed unfair legal agreements that oblige them not to talk about what happened. The two newspapers use all professional weapons to reach the truth in their interviews with sources. The most powerful weapon – besides perseverance and high professionalism – is silence. in the presence of the source, whose tension and confusion heightens as the reporter remains silent and waiting. Answering his intelligent questions puts his source on the brink of recognition. Judy and Cantor were great at this. They also had to listen to the victims’ confessions for a long time, in conversations similar to psychotherapy sessions.
But Weinstein was protected by his enormous influence, a vast network of contacts and a terrifying circle of acquaintances that also included top politicians at all levels, with an armored arsenal of lawyers, supporters and cronies who initially rose to his defense. against the hits of the New York Times. However, the good press managed to overthrow him from the throne. Even his brother, Bob Weinstein, was forced, in an interview with the two journalists, to admit and apologize for having described what his brother was doing as mere misconduct. Some (sources – victims) were top actresses in Hollywood who feared for their future careers. It took many phone calls, interviews, knocks and emails to get them and others to reveal what Weinstein had done, to build a coherent case against him.
The two journalists did not despair, despite the hesitations of the victims, and gave the journalists a wonderful lesson in perseverance, professionalism and teamwork.

Women in the Arab “media” .. “victims of the trend”
“She Said” – the book and the film – raises several issues that the Arab media should consider. Foremost among these is that there may have been an urgent need for more professional female journalists. Some issues may have been the most capable of being raised by women. Not just because she is the most capable of expressing gender than she is and feeling their suffering.. but because there are complexities and issues that women in our conservative Eastern societies cannot disclose except to a woman like her. We have a lesson in the New York Times investigative series. Would it have been possible for the victims to speak if the “New York Times” had assigned journalists – and not two journalists – to cover the story? !
The whole issue also reveals the extent to which the Arab media appears to be neglectful of women. A simple comparison of women’s suffering that goes unreported in some of our societies and what is published in the media confirms how women can suffer in silence without the press extending a helping hand. The issues on which silence is kept are many and complex, and most of them find no space in the media, whether old or new. What is posted about women sometimes seems closer to excitement or entertainment, at best, and their issues are brought up, in an elitist or superficial way that is closer to oversimplification.. For example: what are the dozens of best skin moisturizers?
Thus women, in a sense, may be a “compound” victim of social conditions…and also of neglect, contempt or even exploitation by the Arab “media”, which in its frantic pursuit of the “trend ” forget fundamental issues that affect women, minorities and all those on the margins of society.
Of course, it cannot be said that male journalists are responsible for this lack, but the remedy requires giving more space to women’s issues, objectively without sensationalism, even to the detriment of what is available for sport, art and politics. she desperately needs to see her other half accurately, at least because women’s issues are a mirror that reflects the reality of our societies with all their complexities. Investigative journalism, therefore, may be the solution, because it represents a real and important alternative to “fast food” journalism and the sterile debate on traditional journalism and new media.

When the Oscar meets the Pulitzer?
1. You Can’t Take It With You (1937)
A romantic comedy-drama, for which Moss Hart and George Kaufman won a Pulitzer Prize in 1937, it was made into a film that won several Academy Awards the following year.

2. Gone with the Wind (1939)
Margaret Mitchell’s novel won a Pulitzer Prize in 1936 for its depiction of slavery and southern life, and was later made into a film that won several Academy Awards.

3- All the King’s Men (1949)
A political novel about the American South of the 1930s, in which a journalist plays an important role. The novel won a Pulitzer, then was made into a film of the same title in 1949, which also won two Academy Awards.

4. “Deliver Miss Daisy” (1989)
A famous comedy that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988, later made into a film, about the tense relationship between a black driver who drives a white woman’s car. The film won the Academy Award for Best Actress.

5. Spotlight (2015)
The film chronicles the efforts of “Spotlight”, an investigative unit of the Boston Globe newspaper, whose duties, since its founding in the early 1970s, have focused on drafting a large investigation into a case, even if it takes years . In 2002, this team of reporters wrote an incredible investigative series on the scandals of child abuse by priests in Boston. The investigations caused a great stir and major changes in the Catholic Church.
The team won a Pulitzer, and the film based on the story won multiple Academy Awards.

6 best journalism movies
– The French Correspondent (2021)
The film tells three stories and gives life to a group of stories that were published under the same title, “The French Correspondent”. The film is inspired by Anderson’s love of the New Yorker, and some of the film’s characters and events are based on real-life characters from the magazine.

– The Post Office (2017)
The film, directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, revolves around the scandal that broke out during the era of US President Richard Nixon, after the leak of a “Pentagon” study documenting the details of US policy in the Vietnam War and revealing the involvement of four presidents in hiding facts about the war.

– Spotlight (2015)
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Picture, Spotlight is a dramatic dramatization of the dogged efforts of Boston Globe writers investigating shocking revelations of child abuse and cover-ups in the Catholic Church.

– Nightcrawler (2014)
An inconsiderate jobless man turns into a “journalist” in Los Angeles, after discovering by chance that there are photographers who shoot accidents, house fires and nocturnal burglaries, and then sell them to American television stations that broadcast them in their morning bulletin.

-Forrest | Nixon (2008)
The famous British broadcaster David Forrest recorded 29 hours of interviews with former US President Richard Nixon, three years after his resignation following the Watergate scandal, and clips were deleted, so that the duration of the dialogue became of 5 hours, in which Nixon made sensational confessions.

– All the President’s Men (1976)
The investigative book of the same name “All the President’s Men”, written by journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, was published in 1974. The film sheds light on the “Watergate scandal”, which caused Richard Nixon to resign from the presidency of the United States .

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