This film demonstrates that Fox News, much like our President, wears shame as a badge of honor. Ever wonder why their female reporters sit under glass desks in high heels with dresses well above the knees?
If the four sisters in Little Women were able to ride a time machine where they found themselves working for Fox News in Washington in 2016, they would be profoundly disappointed to find that women were still being treated as second class citizens. With Bombshell, Director Jay Roach does a brilliant job exposing the sexual misconduct of two of the most powerful men running the Fox News empire.
A handful of actresses give captivating performances playing the women who braved criticism as they brought down both Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly. The actions of both men were as retched as it was condemnable, and it was made worse by placing sex as a necessary obligation to further your career.
This was not an easy film to watch given that it was based on a true story. Charlize Theron and Nicole Kidman are fascinating as they reveal the professional experiences of Megan Kelly and Gretchen Carlson. Both literally destroyed their careers when they joined in combat against Ailes, the founder of Fox News who did not tolerate criticism from anyone.
The film is also immensely helped with the performance of Margot Robbie as Kayla Pospisil, a Fox employee who discovered the cost of being interviewed by Ailes in his office to gain greater access to a TV program. Furthermore, Kate McKinnon is superb in her small caustic role as a minor Fox employee who simply knows the importance of embracing right-wing conservatism at every turn, and Allison Janney shines as the nasty, competent lawyer for Ailes who knows when it is time for him to walk away.
Though most of the male performers do little more than either antagonize or offer support to the beleaguered women, John Lithgow gives a magnetic performance as one of the most hateful characters to ever appear on the screen. He reveals both Ailes’ strength and multiple weaknesses, and he drifts into old age as man who played major roles in the careers of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan among others.
What is tragic about Fox News is that it has eliminated fair reporting in exchange for preaching from a conservative bully pulpit. From Sean Hannity, Janine Pirro to the group of demagogues that dominate WIBC Radio here in Indianapolis, Fox sponsors a bevy of pundits who will back President Trump at every turn while turning the Senate impeachment trial into a rigged process.
The entire group has embraced a dialogue where you use insults and meanness as an intellectual battering ram, and our country will continue to suffer as long as Fox News is run in this hideous fashion.