As part of the publicity push for their left-wing movie Lions for Lambs, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, and Tom Cruise sat down with Time’s Richard Corliss for an article titled "The Lions Roar." But these lions have a very typical Hollywood Left message. In America, it’s very tough to speak out against war. "Standing up is very, very difficult," said Streep. "We vilify the people that do speak up. You're told you're not supporting the troops." Redford added: "If you're against us, you're not patriotic." They also say the American people don’t care so much about war as they do about celebrity dirt, and according to Streep, we face the tragedy of the unheeded peace-loving left: "we went forward, in the face of all sorts of warnings that are now proven to be the truth. Americans have been anesthetized by good fortune."
It began much like the ABC interview, with Redford claiming the movie represents all points of view so "we wouldn’t be categorized as a lefty film. It’s meant to provoke thought, not provide answers." Corliss acknowledged the obvious: "So it's forthrightly political," spurring this exchange:
STREEP: I think every movie is political. It's political in what it doesn't say, what it chooses to ignore. Every movie we've all made has a message. Maybe we don't choose to think about it that way, but every time I go on a press junket to Europe or Japan or China even, people ask questions that presume you have a feeling as a citizen about the events in your country and beyond.
REDFORD: In America, though, we're usually asked, "What's it like working with Tom? What's it like working with Meryl?"
STREEP: Because we're afraid to speak. Even though we have the freest society, supposedly, I think many of us are afraid to speak up. And we vilify the people that do speak up. You're told you're not supporting the troops.
REDFORD: If you're against us, you're not patriotic.
STREEP: So to me this film is about the difficulty of standing up and saying what you think. Standing up is very, very difficult.
REDFORD: I won't speak for the others, because Tom is not yet 30 ... [Others laugh.]
STREEP: Neither am I. [More laughing.]
REDFORD: ... but as a kid in California, I experienced the Second World War. My uncle died. My cousins died. I remember their deaths. In the '50s, the Joe McCarthy hearings were on TV, and I remember not quite understanding what it was. Nixon was my Senator. Earl Warren was the Governor. To me, they were just boring people in suits. What the film tries to do is to dramatize issues to allow you to see the struggle within these people on an emotional level. And what you see is potentially yet another repeat of what went on in every single war. We seem to have a penchant for letting this happen over and over and over again.
CRUISE: Wars never solved anything--that's my personal belief--but I don't think that that's necessarily what the film is about. It does pose questions. It's not pointing the finger. Because so much was happening after 9/11, it was hard to get to the truth.
STREEP: But I think older people had this dull, thudding pressure. They were feeling, Hmm, maybe this is not what we think. And yet we went forward, in the face of all sorts of warnings that are now proven to be the truth. Americans have been anesthetized by good fortune. I recognize myself in every single one of the compromised people in this piece. This movie is saying, Here we all are.
Ironically, for the dismissing of questions about what it’s like to work with Redford, Tom Cruise quickly volunteered how amazing it was to work with Redford and Streep.
It's one thing for news outlets like ABC to publicize leftist actors like Tim Robbins proclaiming "a chill wind is blowing" against dissenters during the first days of the liberation of Iraq in 2003. But are we really supposed to believe that in 2007, with the left feeling confident that President Bush lies on the ash heap of history, that they still believe there's no space in America for anti-war movies and speeches?