Comic Harry Shearer to Accuse National Media of Mythmaking at National Press Club

Mar 08, 2011, 13:16 ET from National Press Club

Voice of The Simpsons and SNL Star Slated for Address, March 14

WASHINGTON, March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Harry Shearer, famed voice of "The Simpsons,"  "Saturday Night Live" comic, radio host of "Le Show," and star of the film "This is Spinal Tap," will accuse the national press of perpetuating media myths in major news coverage at a National Press Club luncheon March 14.

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Shearer says he hopes to "enhance the feeling of shame among practitioners" in the press, whom he says have a "blindness to accuracy."  He will argue that the nation's top editors and producers are "notoriously herd-oriented, cling to first-draft versions of news stories, and are reluctant to adjust news narratives when new facts come to light."  

In his speech, Shearer will address the impact of 24-hour-news cycles, accelerated deadlines, budgetary constraints, and newsroom cutbacks on accuracy in journalism, citing reporting on such stories as the toppling of Saddam Hussein's statue in Iraq and aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  In his documentary "The Big Uneasy" (2010), Shearer chronicled government's failures that caused catastrophic damage in New Orleans during the hurricane.

Harry Shearer is an actor, known for the many characters he voices on The Simpsons, including Mr. Burns, Smithers and Principal Skinner. He has been a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live and his movie credits include The Right Stuff, The Fisher King, The Truman Show and the 1980s rock mock-umentary, This is Spinal Tap.

The March 14 Press Club luncheon will begin promptly at 12:30 p.m.  Remarks by Shearer will begin at 1:00 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session. Advance reservations should be made through (202) 662-7501 or reservations@press.org. Cost of luncheon admission is $18 for National Press Club members, $29 for their guests, and $36 for the general public. Tickets must be purchased at time of reservation.

National Press Club Luncheons are webcast live on press.org.  Follow the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #NPCLunch, or on Facebook at (facebook.com/PressClubDC) and Twitter (@PressClubDC). Submit questions for speakers in advance and during the live event by sending them to @QNPCLunch on Twitter.  Or email a question in advance, type TURNER/PICKENS in the subject line and send to president@press.org before 10 a.m. on March  14.

The Press Club is on the 13th floor, 529 14th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. Credentialed press may cover this event.

About the National Press Club

The National Press Club is the world's leading professional organization for journalists with more than 3,400 members worldwide representing every major news organization. More than 250,000 people visit the Club each year to attend more than 2,000 events. The Club was founded in 1908 and is on the web at press.org.

SOURCE National Press Club