Hollywood movies and television have shaped the way most of the world perceives the Final Solution, narrator Gene Hackman observes at the beginning of "Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust." It is a statement that may not sit too well with generations of historians and authors, but the evidence validates the conclusion.
Many young Americans know comedian Alan King's work -- they just don't realize it.
"The Hebrew Anarchist Comes to Town" a 1893 New York Times article alarmingly proclaimed. To other reporters, she was "Red Emma, Queen of the Anarchists."
Reality TV is nothing new. Since the dawn of television, there have always been unscripted formats and game shows of one kind or another. However, the current incarnation of reality programming -- shows such as "Survivor," "The Bachelor," and "Fear Factor" -- may be the most durable and successful shows in the history of reality programming. What's more, reality TV is the most innovative area of current programming, far more creative than sitcoms, hour-long dramas, sports, news or movies and miniseries. In fact, it may be helpful to think of current reality shows as game shows or "event programming" much like the highly touted TV movies of the 1970s and '80s.
I learned all this and more when I attended a recent panel at The Museum of Television and Radio in Beverly Hills called, "Keeping it Real: The Past, Present and Future of Reality Television."
Adolph and Sam Frankel are the official poster boys for "Jewish Life in the American West: Generation to Generation," one of the most ambitious exhibitions ever mounted by the Autry Museum of Western Heritage. The exhibit opens to the public on Sunday, June 23.