It shouldn't be shocking that a film critic who pens tributes to the joyful figure that was radical feminist Bella Abzug would not be a fan of Sarah Palin, or Steve Bannon's Palin documentary The Undefeated. Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday tracked down the film on pay-per-view to slam it on the front page of Friday's Style section in the Post.
There is no joy in Palin-ville, says Hornaday. The film is a "fawning, oddly bloodless portrait" and "a tendentious, poorly made infomercial that reduces one of the most charismatic political and media figures of her age to little more than a talking point for far less telegenic talking heads." Hornaday grows more specific as she specifically pans the "tirade" of Mark Levin:
Especially vocal are such bloggers and talk-jocks as Andrew Breitbart, Tammy Bruce and Mark Levin, each of whom inveighs ad nauseam against anyone who at any time had anything less than hosannas to hurl at Palin's feet. Levin, in particular, barks at considerable at length about how she's the new incarnation of Reagan, a tirade that might tempt viewers to check their lapels for fingerprints when he's finally finished.
Anyone who's seen this film and enjoys the Mark Levin show would tell you Levin is a lamb in this movie compared to the righteous fury he can unleash on the radio.
Even Hornaday came away impressed with what Bannon has said he's proudest of in his film, a chronicle of how Palin handled energy issues as governor of Alaska, but she mysteriously wonders why a woman picked to be the vice-presidential candidate would be partisan on the campaign trail:
Based on her modest demeanor and record of budget, energy and ethics reform in Alaska, it’s easy to see her appeal to McCain, who called Palin while she was at the Alaska State Fair to ask her to run for veep. What "The Undefeated" doesn’t explain — in addition to the title "Undefeated" when Palin was, actually, defeated in 2008 — is how a woman whose early career had been dedicated to transcending partisan politics became such a ferocious political warrior while on the stump. Instead, Bannon sets Palin up as a victim — of liberals, of establishment conservatives and of the "lamestream media" that his subject has become so skilled at manipulating (a talent the filmmaker strangely neglects to mention).
Here, Hornaday (or the Post staff) link to a Chris Cillizza post with a very silly(zza) opening: "Sarah Palin is the puppeteer. We, the media, are her puppets." If the media are Palin puppets, what explains this Palin-bashing movie review? Or all the other Palin-bashing the media has unleashed?
On the front page of Friday's Post is this blurb:
Palin per view: Ann Hornaday says the documentary, now yours to see for $5, never made to D.C. area theaters for good reason: It's an ad.
As if Michael Moore's movies aren't leftist infomercials? Hornaday, by the way, doesn't think Moore is a filmmaker, even though she finds him hilarious and persuasive. She compares him to Thomas Paine.