The Insider : what was the deal with the unabomber subplot?

what was the deal with the unabomber subplot?

When Pacino first calls that guy with the mustache and talks about giving him a heads-up before they make an arrest, I wasn't sure whether they had some reason to arrest Wigand or perhaps Pacino was just using some trick up his sleeve that would materialize in the climax. But in the end, it was just another news story that Pacino was doing.

This inclusion confuses me; were they trying to show Pacino's professionalism? Or perhaps something more Citizen Kane-like where the news media is much more involved in daily life than we realize?

Re: what was the deal with the unabomber subplot?

I thought it was just a parallel side-story or subplot showing that Lowell Bergman was working the Unabomber story at the same time he was pushing the Wigand interview. Whether true or not, I don't know; the movie (while terrific) was certainly self-serving towards the protaganists. I'm told the real story was more nuanced. Speaking of nuance, one of the lawyers (the actor Vin Diesel kills at the end of Chronicles of Riddick) is in prison for bribing Alec Baldwin's character that convicted Medgar Evers' killer. Mississippi, everyone!

Re: what was the deal with the unabomber subplot?

I enjoyed those side stories. They told me how news people work. They have group and work relationships, "I give you this news you give me your news etc."

Re: what was the deal with the unabomber subplot?

It was probably to put in context three things,

1) how big of a story Wigand's insider information was; if your story is being told by the same guy that's interviewing Hamas and breaking the unibombers arrest, then it must be important.

2) how the media moves from one thing to the next and forgets about yesterday's news. One day reporters are looking up Wigand's ass about whether he's a liar, and then all of that's forgotten with the next story. The pressure probably dies down when the cameras are focused elsewhere.

And
3) putting into a time frame of real events when this was all going down. People probably forgot all about when Wigand was in the news, but when they see the unibomber is about to get arrested they're like "I remember when that happened"

Re: what was the deal with the unabomber subplot?

Great response vh8686, especially your first part, about how it indicates the importance of Wigand's story.

Although I disagree with number 3. There are already enough more practical elements in the film that remind us when this happened.

I would also add that the Unabomber aspect serves to demonstrate that even though the entire Wigand story left a bad taste in Lowell's mouth about journalistic integrity, it didn't suppress his hunger. The Unabomber is a sort of aftermath for Lowell - he will go on to cover the tough stories.

Re: what was the deal with the unabomber subplot?

Much obliged sir,

I quite agree with this:


left a bad taste in Lowell's mouth about journalistic integrity, it didn't suppress his hunger. The Unabomber is a sort of aftermath for Lowell - he will go on to cover the tough stories.
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