Latest from John Nolte
With a movie based on the gossipy, mostly unsourced, pro-Obama, Palin-savaging “Game Change” already casting and likely timed to boost President Barack –War of Choice! — Obama’s re-election bid in 2012, it looks as though HBO’s decided to double down with a miniseries written by a “West Wing” alum that’s based in part on the PBS (your tax dollars used against you again) Frontline documentary, “The Dark Side.”
HBO has optioned the book Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency by Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Barton Gellman for a miniseries to be executive produced by Paula Weinstein.
The mini, which will be based on the bestselling book and the Frontline documentary The Dark Side, tells the story of Richard Bruce Cheney from his early days as Donald Rumsfeld’s protégé in the Nixon administration, to the nation’s youngest Chief of Staff under President Ford, to serving as Secretary of Defense under George H.W. Bush, through two controversial terms as Vice President under President George W. Bush. According to the producers, the project will center on Cheney’s “single-minded pursuit of enhanced power for the Presidency (that) was unprecedented in the nation’s history.”
I think he’s wrong about some of these things, I just can’t tell you why. – David Letterman
It was the summer of 1996, and I remember it like it was yesterday. HBO aired Chris Rock in concert, “Bring the Pain” the one-hour special was titled, and I was sure after it was over that the future of standup comedy was in the best of hands. Rock stalked the stage like a leopard about to pounce and his gazelle was most every sacred cow in the area of race relations there was at the time: O.J. Simpson, Marion Barry, white bigots, prison, and most famously… “I love black people, but I hate niggas.”
At the time I had just turned 30 and had also just dropped out of college after only three semesters (it was time to pick a major and I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up), but what an eye-opening experience those three semesters were. Political correctness was everywhere, infesting everything. I actually had a professor who used the term “herstory” instead of “history.” There was the criminal justice professor who insisted we abolish prisons and enough enviro-nonsense taught as fact that I sometimes wondered what country I was living in. Nice people, just not very bright. Well, that’s exactly fair. They weren’t all dumb, but they weren’t all nice, either.
This might be the most revealing anecdote about the intolerant culture of present-day Hollywood in, well, ever. Get this: some genius producer at Sony digitally removed the words Holy Bible from a Holy Bible in a scene because he thought the sight of a Bible might hurt the film’s appeal beyond the Christian community — probably because he’s projecting and assuming everyone’s as bigoted as Hollywood.
After some pressure from the family on which the film is based, he did put it back, but who thinks this way (he asked himself rhetorically). Good grief, there are all kinds mainstream films today where you see glimpses of various social and political symbols. Remember all that obnoxious PETA junk in Lethal Weapon 2, a movie I’ve only watched about a million times. But how many films these days show teenagers with the chicken track peace symbol on their book bag or a Greenpeace poster on the wall?
Yesterday, in this piece about Stephen Colbert, I mentioned Jon Stewart’s attack on Fox News but couched it with as much skepticism as possible because, frankly, it didn’t pass the smell test, especially in the area of context. To have those suspicions confirmed last night by Bill O’Reilly came as no surprise (see the video below). Furthermore, I respectfully disagree with O’Reilly that Stewart should be held to a lower factual standard because he’s a ”satirist.” Stewart isn’t a satirist, he’s a political partisan disguised as a satirist, a man as determined to defeat the right as Nancy Pelosi and Bill Maher. The difference between Pelosi and Maher, though, is that they step into the arena of political battle and fly their flag. At the very least you can respect them for that. They come to wage open war whereas Stewart and Colbert come to throw rocks while wearing the protective shield of a clown nose.
It’s never a good day when one of the most wicked organizations on the planet is pleased by anything. But how could America’s teachers unions not have been thrilled with the news that Davis Guggenheim’s damning indictment of the devastation they have brought down upon America’s public school system and millions upon millions of children was snubbed by the Academy this morning?
Anyone who’s read Big Hollywood for any period of time knows I’m no Jon Stewart fan. On his best days, I find him smug and disingenuous. “But he attacks the Left!”, my friends tell me. Yeah, when they’re not liberal enough or like the ACLU taking a righteous case every now and again, as cover so people will say, “But he attacks the Left!” Sorry, no sale here, and Stewart’s increasingly strange obsession with controlling the way we speak only confirms that decision.Stewart’s unnatural preoccupation with regulating speech, especially political speech, is not only borderline un-American, but you can tell he loses sleep over the frustration he feels when people don’t speak the way he thinks they should. The best example of this occurred just a few months ago at his anti-Beck “Rally to Restore Sanity.” In order to point his sanctimonious finger at the rest of us and wag it like the Church Lady so he could tell everyone else how they should and should not conduct themselves, he puts on this HUGE rally in DC. I’m sorry, but this is not normal behavior.
By design or accident, it appears as though a 20 year-old single mother is using the power of popular culture to single handedly transform the left by ginning up their rage to a point where they now see the light when it comes to rewarding merit and opposing voter fraud. This quite possibly ranks as the most important political and social triumph of 2010.
Didn’t Jon Stewart tell the media “Restore Sanity” was not a response to Glenn Beck? Yes, he did.
I have no obligation to the Democrats or progressives or unions. We’re not warriors in their cause[.] – Jon Stewart defending his anti-Beck rally
You work on the message, I’ll work on the logistics. — Arianna Huffington to Jon Stewart regarding her offer to provide buses to his rally.
Jon Stewart always tries to make it seem like he rises above it all, and that’s not the case. He certainly has a point of view that’s fairly strident.” — Tea Party Organizer Jamie Radtke.
…And therein lies Jon Stewart’s problem: We are on to him. And it appears as though his fans in the media are also finding it difficult to carry his I’m just a performer water this time, as well.
The mistake Stewart made, I think, was letting his hubris get ahead of him. The whole DC rally idea is too clever by half and and now the state-sanctioned comedian’s credibility is taking on a little water as he’s found himself in the unwinnable position of having to explain his motivations again and again and again.
Personally, I completely agree with Glenn Reynolds that having this idiot Colbert testify was nothing more than a Democrat stunt to take the media's eye off the very real and important testimony also taking place today regarding the Justice Department's racism scandals. So the more cringe-worthy and embarrassing Colbert's appearance is, the better. Naturally, the MSM will be all too willing to play along. They fully understand how damaging the DOJ Black Panther case is to the Obama Administration and have no desire to come anywhere near covering it.
And of course, there's Stephen Colbert, just as willing to play along - a narcissistic attention whore with no respect for the political process who thinks his schtick combined with a ten hour day he spent in the vegetable fields somehow makes him a compelling and important witness.
The one good thing that came out of this is Colbert's reaction to Conyers' request that he leave. It's not very often you see a smug, superior Hollywoodist caught off guard.
Remember when American comedians went after the powerful in an effort to bring them down to earth with the sharp satire of accountability? Today, they appear to only protect the powerful. Well, unless the powerful aren't liberal enough. As things stand now you have the likes of David Letterman and Louis C.K. savaging Sarah Palin's family, SNL terrified to rip Obama with any real zeal, cartoonists proclaiming President Teleprompter too cool to mock, and Will Ferrell films flaking for corrupt public unions, all in an effort to protect the corrupted leftist elitists currently holding power.
It's like we now live in an alternate universe you might call ... North Korea.
In desperate Hail Mary moves to protect Obama and Democrats from what's looking like a November rout, three of the left's most beloved Palace Guards have just upped their game considerably. Bill Maher's now openly blackmailing Delaware Republican Senate Candidate Christine O'Donnell, threatening a weekly drip-drip-drip of videos he thinks will ruin her candidacy unless she agrees to appear on his show - which is where he'll really pull out the stops to finally win that Emmy by attempting to destroy her:
Do the math. Instead of someone with the last name Rodriguez telling the tale of noble, sympathetic Hispanics victimized by white American southern rednecks - all of whom are portrayed as murderous racists, what if we had a white filmmaker telling the tale of noble and sympathetic Texas border ranchers victimized by marauding, racist, gold-toothed unwashed Mexicans out to steal their land? Oh, and we would close our story with a stand-up-and-cheer race war where Texas ranchers unite to violently mow down evil Mexicans.
The same Left whose standards are so low that opposition to ObamaCare, same-sex marriage, and the Ground Zero Mosque can only be driven by a "phobia" or "ist" - the same PC Left that hides "silly" old Bugs Bunny cartoons and can't broadcast a season of "24″ without including a patronizing Don't Be Racist to Muslims PSA - sees the vicious portrayal of white Texans in "Machete" as nothing more than a silly goof. I guess it's easy to convince yourself of that when your principles are based on an agenda as opposed to any sense of consistency or intellectual honesty.
There are three important things going on in "The Tillman Story" (in selected theatres today), two of which almost make the conspiracy-mongering documentary worth your time. The first and best is the opportunity to get to know better the extraordinary and extraordinarily complicated and interesting Pat Tillman. In the best sense of the word, this was a fierce and fiercely passionate man - fierce on the football field, fierce on the battlefield, and fierce in his personal beliefs. This was also a man who only ever dated one woman, the woman he would marry the same week he enlisted; and my guess is that Tillman was the kind of man and husband who found leaving the fame of professional football much easier than leaving his young bride.
You also meet Tillman's family; his parents, brother and wife - a decent, loving, inconsolable group dealing with the terrible loss of someone they obviously loved and miss very much. This is a family furious with a United States government who didn't know all the facts before they told the story of Tillman's death to them, and to the American people. And as far as that goes, they are right to be angry.
Last week, film writer extraordinaire Christian Toto fell under the delusion that yours truly was interesting enough to interview, and if you're under the same delusion you can read the two-parter here and here. Among other things, Toto asked me about the clout critics wield and the most common mistakes they make. Here's a combination of my answers:
Critics aren't dumb, they know the public doesn't much care which way their thumbs point. But critics do know that based on their opinions and reviews they can enjoy an influence over what kind of films get made. And that's not a small amount of power. Culture is upstream from politics, after all.
If you have 95 percent of critics savaging a faithful retelling of the Gospels as anti-Semitic, no matter how successful "The Passion" is, no one's going to go near that subject matter again. And that's the goal. Same with anything that comes close to patriotism or conservatism. Such cinematic rarities are frequently labeled "jingoistic, fascist or simple minded." This is all done consciously and for a desired effect.
If you’re not interested in having Will Ferrell lecture you on the evils of capitalism this coming weekend and would instead prefer to cozy up at home before the warm glow of plasma with a cold one in one hand a Redbox receipt in the other, here are five fairly new-to-DVD flicks that won’t leave you feeling sucker punched.
1. The Road: Director John Hillcoat’s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize winner was unforgivably snubbed for Oscar consideration last year, as was leading man Viggo Mortensen for his heart-wrenching work as a widowed father leading his adolescent son across a dangerous, barren post-apocalyptic America. Muted, heartbreaking, and yet hopeful, this is a story about a father teaching his son about what it takes to survive at any cost other than losing your humanity. Perfectly acted, beautifully directed and paced in such a way that casts an hypnotic spell, “The Road” is part Christian allegory, part zombie movie, and boasts an unforgettable cameo by Robert Duvall.
Patrick Goldstein and much of the butt-boy entertainment media have either outright ignored director Oliver Stone’s anti-Semitic comments or have dug a deeper hole for their credibility in attempting to explain why they shouldn’t have to hold their favorite anti-American director to the same standard as the director of the “The Passion of the Christ” after his 2006 incident. Unfortunately for them, this ploy might not be working. According to some excellent reporting in The Wrap, media mogul and Clinton confidante Haim Saban is showing some moral consistency, and he’s claiming that WME Chairman Ari Emanuel is as well.
Like the Anti-Defamation League, Saban is far from satisfied with Stone’s “clumsy association with the Holocaust” apology, calling it “sooooo transparently fake.” And as a money-where-his-mouth-is supporter of Israel, my guess is that Saban’s taking issue with all this crazy talk coming from Stone about how his January miniseries will prove Hitler was a “scapegoat” who deserves to be put in “context.”
A furious Haim Saban has mounted a campaign to get Showtime to cancel its planned airing of Oliver Stone’s 10-part series, “A Secret History of America,” in the wake of anti-Jewish remarks by the outspoken director.
The timing of today’s announcement from the Swiss that fugitive director Roman Polanski will not face extradition to the United States coming just a couple days after we all witnessed Hollywood’s reaction to the audio tape of Mel Gibson’s raging, racist rant is fitting. What an interesting opportunity for a side-by-side look at Leftist Hollywood’s values.
It’s unlikely that anyone who’s considered a serious part of the Hollywood community will openly work with Mel Gibson again for a long, long time — if ever. WME, his agency, announced they had dropped him as a client within minutes of the release of the recording, and courtesy of the L.A. Times, the warning has already gone out making clear that anyone foolish enough to work with Gibson again will pay a heavy price:
There’s little chance he’ll land at another agency anytime soon — signing would bring down a horrible avalanche of bad PR to any agency that got within smelling distance and, more to the craven point, any agent that signs him has little hope of booking him any roles anyway since there isn’t a studio in town that will hire Gibson.
So toxic is the “Braveheart” director that the L.A. Times also “suggested” that now would be a “good time” for Tinseltowners to loudly and proudly condemn the former superstar, and a special point was made to single out his longtime friend Jodie Foster (who just finished directing a film that stars Gibson):
One of the big stories in filmdom today is about all the concerns surrounding the marketing of Christopher Nolan’s new film “Inception,” which cost a reported $160 million to produce and hits theatres next Friday, July 16th. According to Reuters, awareness isn’t as high as the studio would like, especially in Middle America.
Well, here’s one way to entice Middle America into your film, insult them by having your three main stars hit the promotional circuit and savage Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin as stupid and evil (video below the jump).