Spin (1995)

Run Time - 56 min.  |  
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Brian Springer's Spin has more than a passing similarity to Kevin Rafferty and James Ridgeway's entertaining campaign documentary Feed, but rather than just put those missing moments from the satellite feed on display to amuse cynics and humble political players, Spin goes deeper into how and why the media distorts the images we see on television. While Feed is an effective demonstration of this particular use of satellite technology, Spin illustrates how crucial access to these uncensored moments can be in uncovering the media's agenda. As Springer presents excised moments from coverage of the 1992 presidential primaries, the L.A. riots, and that year's Columbus Day celebrations, a disturbing pattern emerges of how carefully the American media sculpt news coverage of many events, in order, it seems, not to disturb the status quo. In showing Larry King's commercial break efforts to gain favor with Bill Clinton, George Bush, and other politicians, the film exposes his egotism and his lack of journalistic integrity. There are also some Feed-like moments of Pat Robertson making bigoted comments off the air. But this compelling and disturbing film's real service is in explicating how the media's inability to inform audiences and reflect the political spectrum of our culture is a systemic problem.