If comparing Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler isn’t enough, The New York Times has found a new attack for the angry left: The President is just like the villainous Mayor in Steven Spielberg's classic Jaws, getting people killed in order to make a few dollars. The paper on Wednesday produced this revisionist take on the film:
Speaking of the fictional Mayor Larry Vaughn of Amity Island, Times contributing opinion writer Jennifer Weiner made what she thought must have been a brilliant comparison: “Our leader is standing knee-deep in the shallows, smiling and beckoning and telling us that the water’s fine.”
She went on to identify Vaughn — not the shark — as the “real horror.”
I didn’t recall the real horror of the movie. Or maybe, the last time I saw it, I was too young to understand that the shark was simply doing what a shark is built to do, and that the true villain is not the coldblooded predator — it’s the warm-blooded mayor.
No, most viewers would probably say the real horror of Jaws IS the shark. (You know, the creature that's eating people?) If that’s not enough, Weiner hinted that Vaughn just might be a Republican, like the GOP leaders she smears as indifferent to the deaths from COVID.
“All I’m saying is that Amity is a summer town — we need summer dollars,” Mayor Larry Vaughn argues after the first attack, when the chief of police wants to close the beaches. It was a phrase that could have been ripped off for a speech by one of the Republican officials who initially refused to shut down his state’s beaches or insisted on reopening the bars.
Weiner explained how she just recently saw a screening of Jaws at a drive-in theater. Rather than enjoy the film, she saw modern politics:
But it was hard not to think about our real-life, real-time horror: a pandemic that continues to disproportionately affect the poor, Black people and Latinos (and that has taken the life of the actress who played that mourning mother in “Jaws”).
It was just a few days ago, on July 1, that the Times offered ANOTHER attempt to make Jaws a modern political attack. The paper declared it some kind of environmental warning:
The shark was right. With apologies to the skinny-dipper chomped in half, the shark was only being a shark and its teeth were so very sharp, her flesh so very tender. And given the harm we’ve inflicted on the planet, didn’t we deserve some punishment? When the great beast swam out of the unfathomable waters and onto screens in the summer of 1975, it stirred up anxiety that was doubtless tinged with guilt.
If the threats onscreen now are often extraterrestrial, it’s partly, I think, because we can’t bear to see what’s happening, what we’re doing, on Earth. Maybe the shark wasn’t simply hunting us — not all of us, anyway — maybe it was warning us.
One can only wonder how the writers at the New York Times see Spielberg’s Raiders of the Lost Ark? A warning against archaeological cultural imperialism by arrogant Americans? The paper's Twitter handle is @NYTimes if you want to send them mocking tweets about other hidden political messages in classic movies.