Like dutiful White House shills, the "NBC Nightly News" Monday reported Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann mistaking the Iowa town where actor John Wayne was born.
Hypocritically, NBC News has still not informed viewers of President Obama's horrible error last Thursday when he said he had awarded a Medal of Honor in person to a living soldier who actually had been killed in Afghanistan in 2006 (video follows with transcript and commentary):
Hollywood westerns don't sell very well anymore. Remakes of westerns don't sell and they tend to remind those who do see them of the superiority of the originals. So remaking the iconic 1969 western, "True Grit," for which John Wayne received his only Best Actor Oscar, seems an odd choice for the Coen brothers.
But the extremely successful directors of "Fargo," "Oh Brother Where Art Thou?" and "No Country for Old Men," are indeed remaking "True Grit." They stress that their effort is based more on the 1968 novel by Charles Portis than the original movie. Still, The Duke's portrayal of hard-drinking, one-eyed Marshall Rooster Cogburn has been a TV staple for decades. Portis' novel - not so much.
The Coens' quirky, often dark and sometimes absurd portraits of America couldn't be much more different from any flick in John Wayne's legendary career. And maybe that's the point. After all, any movie with America-bashing lefty Matt Damon in an important supporting role is bound to be at odds with traditional takes on the American frontier. All the more-so because Damon admitted, "I've never even seen the original John Wayne movie."
The Coens cast 2010 Best Actor Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges as Cogburn. Bridges will have to be a heck of an actor to do the character justice, because in real life, he couldn't be more different than Wayne, a traditional conservative.
With a huge assist from the New York Times' Patricia Cohen, feminist author Susan Faludi revealed apparently incapable of connecting to the 9-11 tragedy in human terms in Thursday's Arts section story "Towers Fell, and Attitudes Were Rebuilt," in which Faludi cast heroic acts after 9-11 as an anti-woman lurch back to "prefeminist thinking."
"The terrifying and wrenching photographs from September 2001 on display at the New-York Historical Society are suspended from clips in neat rows like laundry hanging on a line. Among them is a black-and-white picture of a life-size cardboard cutout of John Wayne in his prime, with a placard hanging from his neck that reads: 'This is no time for cowboys.'
"'That could be the cover of my book,' Susan Faludi said. She was visiting the Historical Society's exhibition of photographs and artifacts from the World Trade Center attacks and talking about her work 'The Terror Dream: Fear and Fantasy in Post-9/11 America,' out next week from Metropolitan Books."