I already posted this on Twitter, but here it is for the Daily Mirror readers.
Sam Sheridan’s portrayal of hotshot/disgraced reporter Jay Singletary (a tousled Chris Pine, who loses his shirt a lot) is utter b.s. Here’s why:
Jay’s backstory is that he was supposedly hired by the Los Angeles Times at the age of 18. Evidently Sheridan has never read a news story by an 18-year-old reporter. Shakespeare, it ain’t.
In this sequence of “I Am the Night,” Jay puts on a white coat (which he keeps in the trunk of his car, like all good reporters would do) to sneak into the morgue. In real life, any reporter who did this would be fired because its unethical and anything you obtained would be unusable. Plus in the 1960s, reporters had much more access than they do today. They wouldn’t need to sneak into the morgue.
Once Jay gets into the morgue, he begins frantically snapping pictures of a murder victim.
OK, so now we ask:
Why is Jay frantically taking pictures of a murder victim when there isn’t any paper in L.A. (or maybe in the country) that would use them? Does Sheridan think that newspapers routinely ran morgue shots of a murder victims? Recall that morgue shots of Elizabeth Short were heavily retouched and were only published to help identify her. Once she was identified they weren’t published again.
Why is Jay, a reporter, taking pictures? That’s what photographers do, right?
You know what kind of a job an 18-year-old could get at a newspaper? Copy boy, like David Nelson in “Thirty.” Not star reporter.
And finally, Jay is beaten up by a cop.
During the day.
In the Civic Center.
And decides he isn’t going to report it.
There are so many things wrong with this that it’s hard to know where to begin. Cops beating up a reporter would be viewed as an attack on all newsmen and would get a HUGE response in all of the papers. When the LAPD roughed up a photographer covering the famous wreck of the San Diegan in the 1950s, there was so much protest that Chief William Parker appointed the first public information officer, Inspector Ed Walker.
And now I have to stop before my head explodes.
“Inspired by a True Story?” What?