TELEVISION: Why Quiz Show Is a Scandal

The rigging of Twenty-One is juicy material, but Robert Redford's film opts for easy TV bashing

"We're not exactly hardened criminals here," says the TV producer testifying before Congress at the end of Quiz Show. "We're in show business." By this point in Robert Redford's critically acclaimed new movie, no one can miss the irony of that line. The people who conspired to rig the big-money quiz shows in the 1950s, according to the film, were criminals all right -- and not despite but because of the fact that they were in show business. These connivers didn't just feed a few answers to favored contestants to boost ratings. They destroyed a nation's innocence. (Yes, again.)

Bashing television...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!