3 journalism lessons from Philip Seymour Hoffman

Capital New York’s Monday morning Media Pro e-mail included a few paragraphs about the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, along with a reminder about a few roles the actor played.

Hoffman’s large body of work included several turns as journalists. He played the late rock critic Lester Bangs in Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous,” a snooping gossip sheet reporter in “Red Dragon” and, most memorably, Truman Capote in the 2005 biopic that earned him an Oscar.

In a post-mortem tribute, here are three journalism moments worth remembering from Hoffman’s take on Lester Bangs in “Almost Famous.”

1. Sources are not friends. Especially rock star sources.

2. “We are uncool.”

3. And finally, in giving advice, Hoffman as Bangs reminds the young writer of something we all think from time to time, even if it still happens.

“Don’t let those swill merchants rewrite you.”

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