The Kenneth Branaugh Orient Express remake made Twitter recently, but in a way that had nothing to do with the movie.
It seems that reporters these days are not trained to do any research before opening their mouths or sending a tweet. Back in my days at journalism school, we were taught the unofficial motto of the Chicago News Bureau, where many cub reporters were sent to learn their trade: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”
Today’s example of what you do when you don’t learn that lesson comes from Rebecca Theodore, whose Twitter feed identifies her as a “film/TV contributor” to The New York Times, Roger Ebert’s film site, Forbes, and Entertainment Weekly.
This last publication is of particular interest because a photo on the front cover showing the remake’s cast made Theodore take a leap off Mount Assumption:
Fans of the Agatha Christie novel (and the movie with Albert Finney as Poirot, as well as the two movies (David Niven and Jackie Chan) based on the Jules Verne novel, or even Michael Palin’s documentary, know that the Orient Express is a train the runs from London to Istanbul, and that any Asians on it are most likely paying passengers.
In the face of numerous corrections and probably worse, Theodore took her account private. It would be nice to think she’ll use her time away from Twitter to bring herself up to speed with Christie, or at least to remind herself of the difference between reporting and knee-jerk advocacy. If she wishes to do a better job of virtue-signalling, she should at least indoctrinate herself on why one should not use “Orient” to refer to the Far East.