First it was the traumatized Vietnam veteran, now are Iraq vets set to become the next "progressive" cliché?
Being the strapping patriot sort of folks that they are, the Hollywood left is gearing up to release a bunch of anti-military movies that portray veterans of the Iraq war as deranged psychopaths, screwed up by an "unjust" war. The New York Times's Michael Cieply reports (h/t Instapundit):
Now some in Hollywood want moviegoers to decide if the killing is emblematic of a war gone bad, part of a new and perhaps risky willingness in the entertainment business to push even the touchiest debates about post-9/11 security, Iraq and the troops’ status from the confines of documentaries into the realm of mainstream political drama.
The first part of Spike TV's mini-series, The Kill Point, on Sunday night featured a scene in which an Iraq war veteran bank robber holding hostages earned applause from a crowd outside the bank when he denounced the war. Walking outside the bank to meet the police negotiator, “Mr. Wolf” played by John Leguizamo (IMDb bio), a former Marine Corps Sergeant who served a year in Leavenworth for disobeying an order that apparently led to the deaths of other Marines, removed his shirt and pants to show scars from his war wounds. He proclaimed: “I didn't spill my blood for this country for freedom to have it taken away when I came home. I got some demands because they took everything away from me,” citing the loss of medical coverage for his wife after his conviction. “Wolf” shouted his demands: “I want a flak jacket for every soldier in Iraq! Because our stupid-ass government doesn't think that they're necessary. And I want the son of every Senator who voted yes for this war to sign up for active duty.” That led to applause from the civilians in the street watching the unfolding drama, with a few even jumping up and down in approval.
As NewsBusters reported Wednesday, this Sunday the Spike TV cable channel will start a mini-series, The Kill Point, centered around Iraq war veterans who rob a bank and end up with hostages in a standoff. A review in Friday's USA Today related how the leader of the robbers, Iraq vet “Mr. Wolf” played by John Leguizamo, “plays for sympathy before the news cameras, stripping down to show war wounds as he talks about how combat soldiers were poorly served.” USA Today's Bill Keveney also relayed how “Leguizamo says Kill Point isn't trying to stereotype returning soldiers or their behavior. 'They're good guys but they made a bad call, and they happen to have (post-traumatic stress disorder) and they happen to be against the war.'” When will we see a TV movie with Iraq vets doing good things who “just happen” to be for the war?
In this day and age of Political Correctness it can almost be expected that someone will object to the portrayal of Apu in the upcoming "The Simpsons" movie as racist. Sure enough, writer Manish Vij, made just that accusation in the July 17 issue of the British newspaper The Guardian with an article titled, The Apu travesty:
...The Simpsons has long irritated some Indian-Americans because of the thickly stereotypical character of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, the effete cornershop owner with fractured English, excess fertility, bizarre religious practices, illegal immigration status and a penchant for cheating customers.
Apu is quite a unique character on The Simpsons. Unlike the show's parodies of policemen and Irish-Americans, he's the only character to mock a small American minority relatively unknown in the mainstream, and he's by far the most visible immigrant. For desis (South Asians) growing up in America, just one eighth as concentrated and visible as in the UK, Apu shadowed us at every turn.
Those who oppose the Iraq war are always adamant that they support the troops, but how do you characterize people who think it's good television programming to portray Iraq war veterans as violent criminals? This Sunday at 9pm EDT/PDT, the Spike TV cable channel, part of the CBS/Viacom empire, starts The Kill Point, a four-part, eight-hour mini-series “event” revolving around a group of Iraq war veterans who rob a bank and take hostages. John Leguizamo (IMDb bio page), “Dr. Victor Clemente” on NBC's ER, stars as the leader of the heavily-armed robbers and the Spike Web site for the show describes his character as a man who is “fighting his own personal demons from the Iraq war.” Spike TV, best known for incessant re-runs of CSI, will air The Kill Point in two-hour blocks over four successive Sundays, starting this Sunday, July 22.
Townhall.com's Josue Sierra's blog today shares with readers just how "SiCKO" the state of Cuban health care is.
Not every Cuban gets the Potemkin village treatment Michael Moore gave 9/11 workers featured in his latest documentary.
Click on this link to see how ill-equipped and run-down the average Cuban hospital is. Sierra links to the original blog post by Stefania Lapenna at "Free Thoughts." The photos were taken by one Dr. Darsi Ferrer.
As NewsBusters noted, in June Rolling Stone published a “green” issue that still didn't please the enviro-left. Well, now Radar Online exposed the magazine's founder and publisher Jann Wenner's not-so-green lifestyle which contrast with his ecological stunts and stances.
Radar's July 3 article and July 6 update about Wenner's high-living, carbon-spewing lifestyle which is filled with globe-spanning Gulfstreams, big SUVs, lending his evil Global Warming Inducing Death Plane to high-profile friends (like John Kerry) and staffers ferrying lunches back and forth should really tick the green crowd off. Oh, and he doesn't even recycle. Bad environmentalist, bad!
Wenner is reportedly planning to spend his summer jetting between Europe and his vacation home in the Rocky Mountains. How much carbon dioxide would this add up to for, say, just one get-away trip? Let's count. Wenner flies to his son's wedding in Greece and back to New York, then speeds off to Sun Valley, Idaho with his family. Counting just one round trip in each direction, the miles total to about 14,000.
Wow...Enrique Iglesias is the first Western pop singer to perform in Syria in over 30 years. Notwithstanding the obvious danger Igliesias faced by traveling to the region, this article (written by the AP's Samar Kassabli) is laugh-worthy in that it sidesteps reasons why Western entertainers might be avoiding it:
Although Syria is rich with culture, historic and tourist sites, Western celebrities have largely stayed away from the autocratic country for years.
However, Syria has been taking small steps to open up the Socialist-style economy and allow greater opportunities and access to information for young people
“If you can find money to kill people [referring to money spent to fight World War II], you can find money to help people,” said Tony Benn, a former Member of Parliament, in Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko.”
The Times said that the eight suspects involved in the recent British terror plots, “are all young, Muslim and connected to the medical profession. But they come from Jordan, Iraq, other Middle Eastern countries and India …”
This is a little old as it was published last Thursday, but MTV's Kurt Loder (pictured at right) did a yeoman's job in dissecting Michael Moore's paean to socialized health care, in a movie review on MTV.com entitled, "'Sicko': Heavily Doctored."
While Loder conceded that Moore's handpicked stories of bureaucratic madness are "horrifying, and then infuriating" and praises scrutiny of HMO manager Kaiser Permanente, the MTV personality quickly turned to slamming Moore for a one-sided propaganda film that failed to present viewers with a command of the complexities of providing health care to a nation of some 300 million people. Portions below in bold are my emphasis:
Unfortunately, Moore is also a con man of a very brazen sort, and never
more so than in this film. His cherry-picked facts, manipulative
interviews (with lingering close-ups of distraught people breaking down
in tears) and blithe assertions (how does he know 18,000* people will
die this year because they have no health insurance?) are so stacked
that you can feel his whole argument sliding sideways as the picture
unspools. The American health-care system is in urgent need of reform,
no question. Some 47 million people are uninsured (although many are
only temporarily so, being either in-between jobs or young enough not
to feel a pressing need to buy health insurance). There are a number of
proposals as to what might be done to correct this situation. Moore has
no use for any of them, save one.
The June 27 edition of "MSNBC Live" was sponsored by liberal filmmaker Michael Moore.
"'MSNBC Live' is brought to you by 'SiCKO', a Michael Moore film in theatres everywhere Friday," read the announcer dipping into a commercial break about 14 minutes into the 10 a.m. block of MSNBC programming.
Even when the Washington Post is covering a Marxist, they have trouble putting an ideological label in the headline. On the front page of Monday’s Style section is a profile of Marxist rock guitarist Tom Morello, but the headline was bland: "Tom Morello, on Tour and on Message: Folk-Rock’s Nightwatchman Plays True to His Roots." Inside, the headline was simply "Tom Morello, Refocusing His Political Rage." Neither headline reflected that he prayed for President Bush’s death:
Onstage, when the Nightwatchman sang, "I pray that God himself will come and drown the president if the levees break again," the Jammin' Java crowd's attitude was chilling. People were praying.
So why isn’t that death-wish directly reflected in the headline, instead of simply being vaguely "On Message" with "Rage"?
The front of the Washington Post Style section on Saturday was dominated by two features on Hollywood stereotyping. At the bottom was Teresa Wiltz suggesting that Angelina Jolie playing Afro-Cuban Mariane Pearl in "A Mighty Heart" is somehow comparable to blackface minstrel shows. But that's not as odd as the top story by William Booth on stereotyped Arab villains, illustrated by the cartoon image of Jafar, the villainous vizier in the Disney cartoon "Aladdin." Earth to the Post: everyone in "Aladdin," heroes and villains, is Arab.
Booth's story actually only raised the issue of the opening song lyrics of "Aladdin," which joked about vicious ear-slicing barbarians, which the Arab-American activists successfully pressed Disney to remove. After that scrubbing, I imagine the children would also hear about "Ali Baba and the Forty Upstanding Merchants." The star of the Booth piece, retired professor Jack Shaheen, also deplored the Fox drama "24" as "the worst of smears" for portraying American Arabs as the terrorist next door. Booth began in Los Angeles:
Webster’s defines “conservatism” as meaning “marked by or relating to traditional norms of taste, elegance, style, or manners.” Sadly, today there are those who call themselves “conservative” who have no interest in preserving tradition, who uphold no standards on the question of taste, and who have no appetite for appearing the slightest bit fuddy-duddy on the question of manners.
This kind of conservative has embraced the anarchical libertarian worldview which on matters of traditional manners and tastes throws caution to the winds, embracing the notion that the “market” – society’s lowest common denominator on cultural issues -- should decide. And if this erosion of traditional values leads to the disintegration of the culture, so be it.
This might explain why a managing editor of National Review Online, a brand name synonymous with conservatism, would be arguing that the F-word is not indecent on national broadcast television in prime time; insists that the idea of “community standards” in matters of public morality is out of touch; and perhaps most surprisingly, mocks the idea that “the sanctity of children’s ears” is a defensible moral cause, as if innocent kindergarteners can’t handle full-fledged cussing binges.
Tim Graham appeared on "Live Desk w/Martha MacCallum" today to discuss what appears to be NBC paying for a post-incarceration interview with hotel heiress Paris Hilton. He joked: "It just sounds like a bad MTV reality show called Pimp My News."
It was bound to happen. A Sci Fi film is being produced presenting humans as the evil, alien aggressors invading a peace loving alien planet, the allegory, according to the producers, being a comment upon the "imperialism" of the United States. Innocent aliens being killed by evil, imperialist space faring humans and it appears to be all George Bush's fault... again.
Science Fiction has used the alien invasion over and over for decades supposedly as an allegorical statement about the human condition contemporary to the production of a given film. In "Independence Day" the aliens are here to destroy us. This film was ridiculously criticized as nothing but "American jingoism" with Americans imagining themselves the saviors of the world because, with the USSR fallen, Americans were the only remaining superpower. Conversely, in the classic 1951 film "The Day The Earth Stood Still", a friendly alien visitor to Earth is shot down by the evil military and it is we, rather than the aliens, who are the bad guys. This film was supposedly about the Cold War but at least we humans were characterized as simply fearful in the 50s classic. Perhaps that benefit of the doubt for humanity is now gone as far as this new cartoon is concerned?
USA Today reports on "Terra", a new cartoon with voice work from the likes of Danny Glover (no selling point for the film there!), Dennis Quaid, Ron Perlman, Luke Wilson, Amanda Peet, Rosanna Arquette and James Garner.
Sometimes, it’s a little tough for the Fox News-bashing left to stamp the Ailes Network with the Uniformly Right-Wing complaint. For example, it’s not every day that Fox News looks liberal on CNN. But I caught the new commercial for leftist propagandist Michael Moore’s new mockumentary "Sicko" on CNN late this morning. One of three ecstatic reviewers in the TV ad is Roger Friedman of FOXNews.com ("Brilliant!")
Is that one of those tricky studio edits that doesn’t really represent the critic’s opinion? Um, no. Friedman’s online review was a rave. It began: "Filmmaker Michael Moore's brilliant and uplifting new documentary, ‘Sicko,’ deals with the failings of the U.S. healthcare system, both real and perceived. But this time around, the controversial documentarian seems to be letting the subject matter do the talking, and in the process shows a new maturity."
It seems that Rosie did more on “The View” than lame Donald Trump imitations, belittle Elisabeth Hasselbeck (as well as Republicans in general) and advance ridiculous conspiracy theories that defy logic, not to mention physics. Rosie also controlled the issues discussed on the “The View,” and while she was on the show, certain issues were off limits...like heterosexual sex.
According to the TV Guide, during a June 13 appearance on the popular LA-based radio show “On-Air with Ryan Seacrest,” Barbara Walters revealed the control that Rosie wielded over the show's daily discussions. From the TV Guide (bold mine throughout):
In the past, Washington Post music reviewers have made no secret of their disdain of country music star Toby Keith's patriotic homegrown quasi-conservatism. But now that Keith is shying away, almost apologizing for his political scuffles with the Dixie Chicks and the late Peter Jennings, the Post seems to have a new-found respect for Keith as a musician and artist. Below the fold you'll see what I'm talking about, but let's start with two prime examples of the Post's past personal swipes at Keith.
Take this November 5, 2003, review by Bill Friskics-Warren, which front-loads a begrudgingly positive review with the obligatory "I can't stand this guy's politics, but he's a damn fine musician" lede:
Mireya Navarro of The New York Times took 32 paragraphs in her June 10 Fashion & Style section article to tell you what I'm about to in one sentence. (h/t Clay Waters of NB sister publication TimesWatch)
Liberal Hollywood doesn't feature women having abortions in TV and movies very often because it's bad to alienate a sizable chunk, if not an outright majority, of your audience who are pro-life.
Of course, you can't fault Hollywood for being pro-choice where it counts to them most. Choosing plotlines and conventional stories that boost the bottom line. That is, unless you're an artiste who is forever battling the crass capitalistic forces of banality, like say, Christopher Keyser. You know, the cinematic Michelangelo that gave us the late-1990s Fox drama 'Party of Five.' Navarro thought it important that we hear from him and other liberals in the industry who lament this one area where Hollywood remains mostly conservative, if only because they feel the heat rather than see the light.
Someone at the AP must really like Stephen Colbert. A bait-and-switch June 3 article was supposedly about a new book by Afghanistan-born author Khaled Hosseini, but gave readers stealth fanboy journalism that wrote a play by play of Colbert’s shtick without discussing the book. From the reporting, the BookExpo America breakfast was more like a segment of the “Colbert Report” than a national book fair discussion. Instead of any information about the book, it was line after line of Colbert coverage, "That Stephen Colbert sure is funny, and he sure has some funny ideas about books. Just ask "The Kite Runner" author Khaled Hosseini."
In the new 40th Anniversary Edition of Rolling Stone magazine, Editor Jann Wenner asks rocker-icon Bob Dylan, "Do you worry about global warming?" and Dylan responds: "Where's the global warming? It's freezing here."
The point is that Dylan was half-serious and questioning Wenner's liberal assumptions, as were a number of other 1960s rock icons who gave some startlingly sober answers to the hyper-idealized drivel regurgitated by Wenner and other questioners. (Hat tip to Cincinnati.com.) When asked his views about the 1960s, Director Steven Spielberg replied, "Just narcissism, a collective and personal narcissism."
News magazines love to float above the real news and focus on nebulous trends, and perhaps none are more nebulous than the sudden popularity of the "beta male," as represented by Al Gore. The "cultural dispatch" by writer Jennie Yabroff celebrates Gore as "the proto beta male" who’s "having the last laugh as a movie star, an ecosavant, a best-selling author, and a potential dark-horse presidential candidate."
Yabroff’s article in the June 4 edition was headlined "Betas Rule: What do Jim from 'The Office,' Shrek and Al Gore have in common? They're beta males—losers who are winning. Look out, alpha dogs." While the grasping, ambitious "alphas" are out, Gore and Bill Clinton are singled out as the hottest political embodiments of sensitively surrendering men, as if they have no ambitions at all:
Is Michael Moore a journalist? Well, he’s certainly just as one-sided and biased as many on the network news. So I guess he qualifies in that way.
One thing is certain. Moore, the director of the new anti-healthcare industry movie “Sicko,” thinks he qualifies. He said in the June 1 Entertainment Weekly that he embraces bias and one-sided story telling. “In my case, it’s going to take 20 or 30 years to figure out what I came up with, because while it’s journalism, it’s also satire couple with a large sprinkling of opinion to create a work of art,” said Moore.
“Entertainment Weekly's” online site, EW.com, is usually politics-free, but not this week. Who would have thought that EW's “Lost” blogger could inject a little Bush Derangement Syndrome into a review of the show's May 23 season finale? Somehow, writer Jeff Jensen managed to find a way (spoilers ahead).
In case you aren’t a “Lost” viewer, here’s what you need to know to help explain this article about the show's season closer entitled “Through The Looking Glass.” Ben, the leader of the Others, intercepted the retreating Losties to negotiate with their leader Jack. Three Losties stayed behind to attack the Others’ but were taken hostage in the process. Ben threatened to have them killed by their captors if Jack didn’t follow his demands. So, now that the scene is set up, here is the BDS in full glory (emphasis mine):
The international press is currently enthralled with the Cannes Film Festival, and the usual celebrity suspects who push the agenda of the Left at such events. Bradley Jacobs, an editor for "Us Weekly," appeared on Monday's "American Morning" and reported on two such celebrities and their current projects - Leonardo DiCaprio and Michael Moore. Jacobs was particularly enthusiastic about Moore and his last two film projects, and gushed, "I was a big fan and proponent of ‘Fahrenheit 9/11,' and I have to say that I thought ‘Sicko' was even better."
Jacobs, who was reporting live from Cannes, even went so far to make a personal appeal of sorts for "Sicko," the latest film from Moore.
Multichannel News magazine reports that the History Channel will air the documentary "Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed" on May 28 at 9 PM. But it has some unconventional movie pundits.
Eric J. Smith felt "History should be applauded for the diverse group of commentators it has drawn together. Politicians Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich give their opinions alongside journalists Linda Ellerbee, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather. And their voices are joined by intellectuals like Camille Paglia and Mary Henderson (author of Star Wars: The Magic of Myth), directors Peter Jackson and Kevin Smith and comedian Stephen Colbert."
Jonathan Last notes there's also Iranian commentary on the last installment of the series.
The “Weekly Standard” profiled libertarian-leaning conservative and political commentator turned documentarian Evan Coyne Maloney, whose new documentary about the leftist ideological indoctrination and pervasive political correctness in the US higher education system is called “Indoctrinate U”. Saturday May 19, CSPAN ran a segment about his film on the network’s “Washington Journal”, but CSPAN posts footage of the shows online (when they have it up, I'll post it. His spot is at the two-hour mark). You can see a clip of his film on YouTube as well as the film's website, Indoctrinate-U.com.
“Indoctrinate U” focuses on the pervasive trampling of free speech and thought on college campuses and traces the modern history of free expression on campuses from the ‘60s through today. The doc covers personal stories like “the Kafka-esque nightmare faced by Steve Hinkle, a student at California Polytechnic, whothe school attempted to sanction for placing a flier in the university's multicultural center announcing a speech by conservative African-American author, Mason Weaver.” It also features a professor who “excitedly tells the camera ‘whiteness is a form of racial oppression…treason to whiteness is loyalty to humanity’.”
The “Weekly Standard” highlighted what the documentary covers (my emphasis throughout):