Fox News vs. ‘A Face in the Crowd’: How a 1957 Elia Kazan Movie Foretold a News Credibility Crisis

The Dominion lawsuit has revealed what Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham really think of their viewers

Hannity Calrson fox news dominion
The Dominion lawsuit exposed Fox News' biggest hosts Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson's real feelings around the election fraud theorists. (Getty Images/Christopher Smith/TheWrap)

Ben Svetkey

Benjamin Svetkey

Veteran entertainment journalist Benjamin Svetkey shoots the breeze, raises a brow and sometimes wags a finger in his ruminations on the latest Hollywood news and controversies.

Sometimes life really does imitate art. And sometimes that art is a 66-year-old Elia Kazan movie that hardly anyone remembers anymore. 

I’m talking about 1957’s “A Face in the Crowd,” Kazan’s darkly brilliant mid-century media satire about an unscrupulous, guitar-strumming Arkansas drifter named Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes — played by Andy Griffith, in an early, pre-Mayberry starring role — who becomes a populist radio and television sensation by bamboozling his millions of adoring fans.