Sunday, July 28, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Loudest Voice' - Gretchen, Brian and Joe Hit Their Breaking Points with Roger's Behavior in '2012'

Showtime's The Loudest Voice - Episode 1.05 "2012"

Fox News Channel is now the dominant news outlet and Roger's working the levers of his power - over his network, over Fox & Friends host Gretchen Carlson who's getting too demanding, over Joe Lindsley who's starting to question his work for Roger and over Gabe Sherman, an intrepid journalist who's digging ever deeper into Roger's secret world. While Roger is buffeted by these threats, he doesn't see the danger posed by Gretchen Carlson. After years of harassment by Roger, she's finally had enough.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Showtime's The Loudest Voice.

"2012" was written by Laura Eason & Alex Metcalf and directed by Kari Skogland

It's truly sickening to see how much Roger Ailes' mentality has come to define modern-day conservatism. It's no longer the party of fiscal responsibility and small government. It's a crowd of anger and paranoia that must permeate through every single decision. It makes it so that those caught up in the hysteria think it's baffling that other people don't see the epic conspiracies or distrust whatever narrative may be pushed out into the world. It's not a healthy lifestyle in the slightest. But it remains highly successful. No, it doesn't result in a Republican victory during the 2012 election. Barack Obama sails through to re-election by defeating Mitt Romney. But the viewer understands perfectly well just how much this mentality of outrage and fear has come to define our entire lives in 2019. Roger Ailes may be long gone at this point. This hour details the exact forces that start his downfall from the network. But the damage has already been quite extensive. Too many people enabled him for too long. It makes it incredibly difficult to see any of them in a flattering or heroic light. Brian Lewis is forced out of the company because he speaks out against Roger at the office. He doesn't want to believe that some massive conspiracy could be taking place online that is targeting a journalist who wishes to understand the inner workings of Fox News. And yet, it is completely true. Roger pushes these theories in order to dispel of any notion that he is a monster who will abuse whatever system in order to get exactly what he wants. Brian signs the NDA and takes the money. But he still calls Gabe Sherman to confirm some of his reporting. That can be seen as a heroic act. But it also comes after a lifetime of working closely with Roger Ailes and promoting the exact agenda and vision he had for the network and conservative ideals. That doesn't go away simply because he has a moral conscious at this particular point in time. It just proves that there was a line he was unwilling to cross. The same goes for Joe Lindsley. Now, that's an incredibly blunt story that takes place here. It's one that outlines how seductive the Ailes family lifestyle can be. It's transformative and all-consuming. But it's also strange because the show wishes to linger on Joe's look of confusion at how far Roger and Beth are willing to go to maintain their power and influence. But it also wants him to be completely onboard with everything they stand for until he too has to make the decision to leave. The show builds up the drama of him leaving during the 2012 election results. Roger feels like his entire world is crushing down because his personal and professional worlds are delivering horrible news at the same time. That articulates why he lashes out. But it doesn't do so in a way that justifies anything or provides any kind of further insight. It just shows him off as a madmen who has to linger in thought over whether or not to help the friend who is currently betraying him. He allows Joe, Brian and Laurie to leave. But it's with the understanding that they won't be able to find work anyone else. Roger scorches the Earth in that way. It's what he is currently doing with Gretchen Carlson. He sees her as a woman who pulls him close and pushes him away. She sees the value and importance of herself as a journalist who gets to the heart of any story. She too runs the risk of getting caught up in the media outcry. But she also arms herself with the knowledge that Roger can't be allowed to continue in power. She is doing something to ensure that his influence means nothing throughout the world. That does create an exciting and open future. But again, it comes with the understanding that what Roger wanted for the direction of the country still ultimately occurred with Fox News still having plenty to pretend being outraged about.