Sunday, August 4, 2019

REVIEW: 'The Loudest Voice' - Gretchen Assembles Her Lawsuit While Roger Frames the Republican Primary in '2015'

Showtime's The Loudest Voice - Episode 1.06 "2015"

Gretchen Carlson has been secretly taping Roger's harassment for over a year and is working with a lawyer specializing in sexual harassment. Roger goes all in to achieve his goal of electing a president, and he finds the perfect candidate in Donald Trump.

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.

"2015" was written by Laura Eason and directed by Stephen Frears

This series has illustrated that there is no difference between Roger Ailes and Fox News. They are one and the same. The news was driven entirely by how Roger saw the world. He was a gifted storyteller who could tap into the deep feelings of this country. He wasn't interested in being fair or truthful though. He just wanted to feel validated and in power. That is a part of his sick and twisted mind. It doesn't matter that he is now a frail old man. He is still a disgusting person looking for sexual pleasure out of every single woman he encounters. That defines all of his relationships with women. To him, they are only viable to please him and engage the Fox News audience for a certain amount of time. The Fox News audience only watches the female anchors because they are attractive. That has no bearing whatsoever when it comes to their male counterparts. Roger directs the viewers to the men for how to think about the news and the country while the women are there to provide sexual energy that is enticing to every man watching. It's despicable but effective. That's the mentality he has always had regarding this business. He always must remain in control no matter what. He freaks out when the Murdoch family announces their succession plans. Rupert wants to take a step back from the day-to-day. He's not a saint in this story either. He was perfectly fine with a lot of Roger Ailes' despicable behavior. His children may be more media savvy for the current moment. And yet, they too struggle to make sure that their directives are followed. Roger still ultimately gets what he wants. Donald Trump runs for president and lands the Republican nomination. The audience knows exactly how that story turns out. It leads to a successful and stunning victory for the businessman. It defines so much of our daily lives now. That all stems from Roger Ailes' belief that Trump was the only person who could correct all of the wrongs committed by this country. That just meant embracing a white male identity that spoke its truth no matter how horrendous it may be. It meant that people who believe in the racism, sexism, xenophobia and homophobia had a place to feel validated in Fox News as well. Roger Ailes encouraged that bond. He made it all feel acceptable. That's because he ascribed to those beliefs as well. He too was corrupt. He was more than fine flaunting that as well. The appearance of a feud between Trump and Fox News would only boost the ratings for the debate. Roger sees all of this as a strategy to remain number one. That's all that he cares about. That's his sole objective. That's how he perceives the world. He thinks people in this business should be happy with what they have because of what he has given them. That just means he doesn't know how to take criticism or suggestions that the way he perceives the world are off-putting and wrong. No one stepped up to challenge him. And now, his world is about to come crashing to an end. He is planning for a life of dinners with the future President of the United States. Instead, he is being sued by Gretchen Carlson for an unsafe work environment created by his sexual harassment. Her contract isn't renewed which fuels her lawsuit even further. It's fascinating to see just how recent all of this history ultimately was. Roger Ailes may be gone now but his influence looms large in so much of what currently defines the political world. At first, Gretchen only wanted to target Roger. She didn't want to be the person who took down the entire company. She sees herself as a journalist who has to do what's right to protect a vital piece of the industry she sees as important. And yet, she isn't the only person abused by Roger in this way. It's systemic throughout the entire company. And now, all of that is about to be revealed to the world. Gretchen is brave. She may not be able to control the story as it develops. But she is the one who presses send on the story that leads to the downfall of Roger Ailes.