Rob Reiner

Director Rob Reiner’s new film “Shock and Awe” shines light on the power of the press and the necessity investigative journalism serves in American democracy. The film, set in 2003 and starring Woody Harrelson and James Marsden, spotlights the Knight Ridder reporters who were the first ones to dig deep into the lack of evidence of weapons of mass destruction before invading Iraq after 9/11. The underlying message of the film is more relevant than ever.

“We’re seeing a very slow erosion of democracy and the creeping rise of autocracy, of fascism,” Reiner told Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir on “Salon Talks.” “It’s very scary right now. It’s not about arguing policies, it’ about arguing what’s true and what’s a lie.” The film, “Shock and Awe,” is “very analogous to what we’re seeing right now,” Reiner continued. “Right now democracy is really hanging in the balance because you have an administration, again backed up by an essentially state-run television calling the other mainstream media an enemy of the people and fake news.”

Watch the video above to hear why Reiner thinks journalists today are facing stronger headwinds now than in the aftermath of 9/11. “Shock and Awe” is out July 13. Tune in for SalonTV's live shows, "Salon Talks" and "Salon Stage", daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. PT, streaming live on YouTube, [Facebook and Periscope.

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