David Carr’s New York Times column in today’s business section, "Hollywood gives the press a bad name," bemoans the portrayal of his craft by those big, bad writers, directors and producers in Hollywood. He cites "King Kong," "Munich" and "The Constant Gardener" as the most recent examples of Tinseltown’s misrepresenting journalists as "a flock of cawing seagulls" or "as sleazy bystanders who take people down as a matter of general practice."
As Shakespeare might have said, "Me thinks thou dost protest too much, Mr. Carr." For years, public relations has had to deal with the double whammy of Hollywood and the media in determining how the public perceive us. I’d match the horrific portrayals of "press agents" in "Days of wine and roses," "The Phone Booth," and "Sweet Smell of Success" with anything Mr. Carr can drum up. (Although I must admit "Days" is one of my all-time favorite movies).
Plus, unlike the media, which has its own newspapers, magazines, TV shows, etc., with which to "fight back" on the perception front, we in public relations tend to turn the other cheek (because most of us are afraid to incite the media to publish even more negative coverage of the field).
So, Mr. Carr, I ask you to look at how other professions such as mine are portrayed by Hollywood before you become too enraged. After all, you do have that bully pulpit otherwise known as the Times with which to publish "all the news that’s fit to print."