There is a serious clash between the notion that today's Washington press corps has an almost religious devotion to the Facts and Hollywood's way of swirling facts into nasty fiction against conservatives.
This clash was illustrated by the "Newseum" in Washington hosting a screening of Vice, the truth-defying movie that turns Dick Cheney into a cartoonish "sociopathic monster," in the words of screenwriter/director Adam McKay.
The gossips at the Washington Post found this occasion a natural party for Democrats and the national media -- or, as Chris Plante says, "but I repeat myself."
Good thing breaking news held off for a few hours — the showing was attended by what seemed like half the city’s press corps, including CNN bureau chief Sam Feist, CNBC correspondent John Harwood and USA Today bureau chief Susan Page. Congressional business seemed on pause, too: We spotted Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.) working the room, and seen among the audience were Reps. Ami Bera (Calif.), Madeleine Dean (Pa.), Robin L. Kelly (Ill.), Marc Veasey (Tex.) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) — all Dems, natch.
The town’s Fourth Estate clearly needed a night of sort-of distraction (yeah, the movie was about politics, but it was still popcorn-worthy). Our evidence? The mob at the bar. Overheard from a gaggle of White House reporters bellying up for glasses of cab: “I needed this — it’s been that kind of day.”
In addition to Feist, Harwood, and Page, The Hill newspaper added their own staffers at the Cheney-mangle gaggle -- Jordan Fabian, Scott Wong, Niall Stanage and Editor-in-Chief Bob Cusack -- as well as Josh Lederman (Associated Press), Daniel Lippman (Politico), Mike Memoli (NBC News), and Philip Rucker (Washington Post).
Politico added Zeke Miller and Nedra Pickler (AP), Terry Hunt and Jennifer Loven (formerly AP), Evan Ryan (Axios), Josh Green, Craig Gordon, and Margaret Talev (all Bloomberg), Bob Cohn (The Atlantic), Asawin Suebsaeng and Betsy Woodruff (Daily Beast), Eric Schmitt (New York Times), Michael Crowley, Blake Hounshell, and Ben Schreckinger (all Politico), and Warren Strobel and John Walcott (Knight-Ridder newspapers).
Strobel and Walcott were heroes in their own Bush/Cheney-opposing movie, Rob Reiner's Shock and Awe, which celebrated their tough reporting on the case for the Iraq war at the Washington bureau of Knight-Ridder. (Reiner played Walcott in the movie.) In limited release, the movie grossed less than $78,000.
The Post gossips spoke to Vice makers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, who were "humbled" by the Democrat/press turnout. They "shook off the off the criticism of their on-screen depiction" of Cheney. “It isn’t a consensus film,” Kleiner said. “And it was never meant to be,” Gardner chimed in.
So the Post asked what topic is ripe for the pair’s "expository-yet-entertaining" approach? “Climate change,” they said.