Regarding James Odato
Someday there’s going to be a movie about Jim Odato. It’s going to be directed by Steven Spielberg or Oliver Stone. Odato will be portrayed by someone with gravitas like Paul Giametti.
Odato will be the hero of the film – not a perfect person, but a dedicated reporter who shines a light on a creepy cult. Javier Bardem will play the leader of the cult. There’ll be a close up of the cult leader devising a plan to ruin Odato’s reputation.
Sam Waterston will play Rex Smith at the Times Union. Waterston will win an Oscar for portraying with intensity and nuance Smith’s dilemma: He wants to stand by his reporter, but the cult’s legal action could bankrupt the struggling paper. The Smith character wavers in his support of Odato before rediscovering what’s important in life – staying true to one’s principles.
There’ll be a scene in the movie in which Odato’s colleagues in the LCA act like shitty little shits who won’t stand up for their colleague. That’s because he didn’t pal around with them enough. He was always guarded, maybe even aloof. He had disdain for the way they made fools of themselves in their annual show lampooning the people they cover.
The LCA members all knew that Odato was a principled guy. They knew he’d never do anything knowingly wrong, but they talked among themselves as if he just might have done so. There’ll be a memorable scene in the movie in which the reporters get together and talk intensely about what constitutes digital trespass today. In the scene, the reporters admit to each other that they don’t know the answer and that any one of them could have found themselves in a similar position as Odato, but then a reporter played by the evil looking character actor Billy Drago (look him up) will stride into the room and give an extended monologue in which he’ll claim to have known all along that Odato was a bad man. This character will be based, of course, on Fred Dicker, whose corporate parent is plagued by hacking scandals and whose own reporting routinely includes questionable quotes from questionable sources.
There’ll be a surprising twist at the end of the story. It will be revealed that Dicker is actually a member of the cult.
Of course, there’s always some dramatic embellishment in Hollywood productions. Despite this, the film will be regarded as having realistically depicted what it means to be a journalist today.