“We Both Reached For The Gun” is an entire number about the ability to persuade the press and the press’s complete lack of fact-checking. In America, we know this all too well, especially right now. How many times have you scrolled through Facebook to see a really enticing article that evokes a real and intense response? Everyone has had that moment, and no doubt some of those headlines have come from really unreliable sources, The Onion anyone? Or how about standing in line at the grocery store and scanning the magazine headlines? The National Inquirer, anyone? How many articles have you seen for or against Trump or Obama? Most of those articles carry a specific agenda even if they come from a “reliable source.” Overall, yellow journalists are experts at fake news and alternative facts.
Yellow Journalism usually has some kind of agenda. In terms of Chicago, the press is totally invested in everything that “Roxie” says, especially Mary Sunshine. Mary Sunshine is based off of the journalist Genevieve Forbes who worked at the Chicago Tribune with Chicago creator, Maurine Watkins. Her agenda was to push the stories of the Lady Killers. These women’s lives and livelihoods depended on the image that people like Genevieve portrayed through the papers.
So as you polish up “We Both Reached For The Gun,” think about how this number sets up the way the press is used throughout the rest of the musical.
Devyn, there is more about Genevieve Forbes on the page “Notable Crimes, Cases, and People.”
McCoy, Terrence. “For the ‘new Yellow Journalists,’ Opportunity Comes in Clicks and Bucks.”The Washington Post. WP Company, 20 Nov. 2016. Web. 30 Jan. 2017. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/for-the-new-yellow-journalists-opportunity-comes-in-clicks-and-bucks/2016/11/20/d58d036c-adbf-11e6-8b45-f8e493f06fcd_story.html?utm_term=.d97a1d73c6d2>.