Talk Radio

Year: 1988
Production Co: Cineplex-Odean Films
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Oliver Stone
Writer: Eric Bosogian/Oliver Stone
Cast: Eric Bosogian, Alec Baldwin, John C McGinley, Michael Wincott
Long before Oliver Stone made his seminal media satire Natural Born Killers, he visited similar territory with the little-seen Talk Radio.

Though not nearly as violent, frenetic, controversial or marketable, Talk Radio taps the same vein as Eric Bosogian plays late night shock jock Barry Champlain who makes his living sitting in his booth letting his offensive opinions and dismissal of critics carry him to some kind of fame.

It's working, Champlain's show about to be syndicated nationally. The only trouble is the mess his life has become. Because he doesn't know how to switch off the mike, his love life and relationship are in tatters, and aside from fears of censorship by the network, he's attracted the negative attention of some very unseedy listeners, from whom the final shocking act stems.

Stone was warning America about the sway held over political and social discourse by nasty, opinionated buffoons with no such claim to such legitimacy other than the fervour they whip up.

It's a warning the world has largely ignored - right wing talk show hosts reaching more people through the consolidation of media and the ballooning ratings they invite, the opinion pages of newspapers swelling with the rantings of ever-increasing numbers of hysterics who hate anything that doesn't have their skin colour or sexual preferences. All of which makes Talk Radio more relevant as time passes.

It's also based on the real-life murder of radio DJ Alan Berg.

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