FNC’s Juan Williams was the guest last night for the first 2010-2011 Reel Journalism with Nick Clooney Film Series event. Not a bad way to kick off the series considering his recent and controversial firing from NPR.
The event was a co-production of AU’s School of Communication and the Newseum. Williams discussed “The Pelican Brief” – starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts – before the screening with host Nick Clooney, journalist in residence at AU and the Newseum.
Clooney said he had recently watched the film again, and was surprised at how basic technology was in the early 1990s. He wondered what Williams thinks about the Internet’s impact on journalism.
“I find that the best reporting still comes from people who pick up the phone to ask questions about what is going on,” Williams said after acknowledging the power of the blogosphere. “Too often, what we get from the Internet is opinion, not fact.”
Williams revealed that the “The Pelican Brief”s” director and producers shadowed him while developing Washington’s character. “They wanted to know how my desk was organized and asked to see what was in my trash can,” said Williams, who was, at the time, a reporter for WaPo.
“How many people have mistaken you for Denzel Washington?” Clooney joked. “None yet,” Williams replied.
A special thank you to Maggie Barrett, public information officer at AU, for the contents of this post.