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The Elements of Power by Terry R. BACON

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CHAPTER 6HAIL TO THE CHIEF

The Power of Role and Resources

ONE OF THE WICKEDEST SATIRES OF BUSINESS AND THE MEDIA IS THE 1976 film Network. Television news anchor Howard Beale (played by Peter Finch) is given two weeks’ notice because of sinking ratings, and he announces on the air that he is going to kill himself. The Union Broadcasting System (UBS) network immediately fires him, but he begs for one more broadcast so that he can make a dignified farewell speech. Reluctantly, they put him back on the air. Instead of a stately farewell, however, he rants about the inequities of life with an impassioned lunacy that raises the show’s ratings so dramatically the network decides to give him his own show, The Howard Beale Hour. There, he enjoins the ...

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