Spider-Man 3: Everyday and Journalistic Ethics

(Cross posted at Say Anything: Reader Blogs.)

Warning! There be spoilers here!

I saw Spider-Man 3 yesterday. I thought the incorporation of an up and coming young journalist who gets canned for doctoring someone else's photograph and passing it off as his own was a nice touch. It was particularly potent given all of the scandals we've had lately involving people altering images and reporting "fake but accurate" news stories.

Brock presents as unctuous and over confident character. His reaction to being caught in his deception reveals a serious lack of integrity. First he pleads for mercy hoping to play on the goodness of Peter Parker not to reveal his deception. (One wonders if the appeal would have worked had Parker not been under the influence of the symbiote at the time.) Once Brock's deception is revealed he is immediately, and rightly, fired by the always volatile Jameson.

Rather than accept responsibility for his actions Brock seeks to avenge himself against Peter Parker for the humiliation Brock brought down on his own head. The scene where Brock walks into the church to pray for the death of Peter Parker was remarkable. How often do we blame others for the consequences of our own bad behavior?

Jameson, always hell bent on making Spider-Man out to be a bad guy, was happy to finally have proof that Spider-Man was indeed the menace Jameson always claimed he was. One could argue that Jameson's wish for it to be true blinded him to the fakery of the photograph but no one else caught it either. However, Brock crosses a line of integrity that is very important to Jameson. It would have been better had Jameson not been taken in by Brock's deception but at least he didn't try to defend it when it was discovered. Don't you wish real life news organizations were that committed to the truth?

The contrast between Marko and Brock in the end is remarkable. Both men made life ruining mistakes. In the end we find Marko haunted by the terrible things he's done in his quest to help his daughter while Brock is obsessed with getting revenge for being caught lying in an effort to promote himself. Marko seemed redeemable while Brock did not. One wonders how the two came together in the first place.


  1. The Sandman becomes sort of a good guy eventually in the comics. I think that was supposed to be a tribute to where that character eventually ends up. He even joined the Avengers for a while.

    Some writer eventually got tired of it, though, and they found a way to remove his good side and make him villain again, unfortunately.


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