‘Journalism is under attack’: Rob Reiner on his new film, Archie Bunker and Roseanne Barr

News source from CTV News

Filmmaker Rob Reiner is on a crusade to protect journalists and the work that they do, at a time when he says the vocation is under attack.

Reiner, who first gained fame for playing the role of Michael Stivic in the 1970s TV show “All in the Family,” has directed a new film about the skeptical journalists who exposed U.S. President George W. Bush’s false claims about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. “Shock and Awe” will hit Canadian theatres in mid-July.

It delivers a message for the moment.

“Right now, I think journalism is under attack,” says Reiner. “We see the president of the U.S. calling it the ‘enemy of the people,’ ‘fake news.'”

Like his attacks on media, Trump’s perceived insularity is nothing new. Reiner says the writers of “All in the Family” highlighted that worldview with the character Archie Bunker, Stivic’s fictional father-in-law.

Reiner says he believes Bunker would “definitely (have) voted for Trump.”

However, as “un-(politically correct) as (Bunker) was,” Reiner says he doesn’t think Bunker would “grab them by the you-know-what.”

On ‘Roseanne’ cancellation

Another fictional Trump supporter, Roseanne Conner, was just wiped off TV. The “Roseanne” reboot was cancelled during its first season after actor Roseanne Barr sent out a racist tweet and blamed it on her Ambien medication.

But Reiner doesn’t think that means similar shows about Trump supporters can’t work.

“I think a red state, blue state show can exist; you have both points of view,” he says.

Reiner says he wasn’t surprised Rosanne’s comeback was short lived, due to its outspoken star Roseanne Barr.

“It wasn’t what she said in the show, it’s what she said as herself, tweeting out certain things that became very problematic for ABC,” he said. “I knew they were going to have that problem.”

With a report from CTV’s Richard Madan in Washington

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