The Big Issue : Edition 456
THEBIGISSUE18APR–1MAY2014 43 RUPERTMURDOCHPHOTOGRAPHBYPETERMACDIARMID/GETTYIMAGES Barry’s tweets and found them “dominated by the UK hacking trial”, which is really not that surprising considering he wrote a book about said hacking trial. More surprising is that News Corp wasted so much money getting a company to look through 54 tweets, when it would have been much cheaper to get the work-experience kid to do it. But The Australian’s bizarre behaviour hit a new low when they snapped a paparazzi-style shot of Barry getting a coffee, in a T-shirt, outside the ABC studios. While the image was quite innocuous, the message was blunt: This is what you get if you mess with us. Then again, Markson has come from Cleo, and this is the type of coverage you’d find in a glossy. And while News Corp accuses Media Watch of being obsessed, it may want to examine its own obsession with the dialogue off by heart, even though I never consciously memorised them. The enjoyment of experiencing a true original like Fargo is wonderful, but it’s also unsustainable. This is no less true for television or film than it is for Grandma’s lasagne. The art of adaptation is fraught, because if you adapt a text (a book, a film, a play, reality) to television, you’re not just working with a known text, but also with the world that text has already created in people’s heads. Starting on 1 May, SBS1 will be screening Fargo, a 10-part series based on the Cohen Brothers movie of the same name. And 16-year-old me will be sitting there, arms crossed, waiting to be disappointed. Successful adaptations usually depart from their originals in some key ways, maintaining key elements (and usually the same energy) from the original. Think of the successful television adaptations YOU KNOW THAT delicious dish your grandmother made for you when you were a kid? Or that first shower you had when you came home from a music festival? Even a first kiss can lead to that feeling that this is one of those non-repeatable moments. You can’t reproduce your grandma’s lasagne. Your third shower won’t be a miracle. It’s a cliché, but sometimes there’s nothing like the original. I remember where I saw the 1996 Cohen Brothers movie, Fargo, and with whom I sat, mouth agape, taking it all in. The cinema is now closed, and I haven’t seen the friends I watched the film with for more than a decade. The hugely pregnant police chief, Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), investigating a murder in the freezing snow, however, is seared into my brain. It was probably one of the first times I’d seen a non-mainstream movie, and for years I knew the key bits of MEDIA TELEVISION REMAKE ME HAPPY JOURNALISM M EDIA WATCH WATCH of Sherlock Holmes. In Sherlock, Elementary and even House, our protagonist is tech-savvy and pathologised. In one of them, Watson is a woman. In one, he potentially harbours a crush. It all works because the energy of the original stories propels the plot and characters along, with the original delight at detective fiction entirely intact. Thankfully, there’s one key element that ensures a departure from the original Fargo in the upcoming TV adaptation: time. I don’t remember the script word-for-word anymore. I remember McDormand as strong, folksy and sharp, but I couldn’t tell you exactly what happened. Sixteen-year-old me might be sceptical, but adult me has such a bad memory I’m keen to find out what happens. Maybe they’re banking on that. by Lorin Clarke (@lorinimus) THE AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER has never really liked ABC TV’s Media Watch, but this year the bile has bubbled even higher, with an added pinch of paranoia. The latest shot was fired when The Australian’s new media editor, Sharri Markson, published an article titled ‘Paul Barry Slammed by Editors for Obsession with News Corp’. This was the latest in a series of articles in The Australian taking a swipe at Media Watch since Barry took over as host last year. The newspaper has been keeping a tally of the amount of Media Watch stories criticising News Corp, and even hired a media intelligence firm, iSentia, to search through Barry’s twitter feed and count the anti-News Corp tweets. iSentia examined 54 of ABC. Aside from the barrage of anti- Barry articles, News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt has already written about the ABC 130 times this year, while former Australian columnist Chris Kenny is now suing the ABC because The Chaser created a picture of him having sex with a dog. News Corp’s paranoia that Media Watch is obsessed with it is a bit like a stalker who follows you around, secretly takes photos of you, leaves notes in your letterbox...and then blames you for being obsessed. All of this would be funny if it wasn’t so desperate. Haemorrhaging money, stuck behind a paywall and watching its circulation numbers fall lower than Rupert Murdoch’s jowls, The Australian drumming up a war with Media Watch might just be its attempt to feel like part of the media landscape before it disappears for good. by Declan Fay (@declanf) ANOTHER FARGO? OH GEEZ! WHY THE LONG FACE?