I don’t have HBO at home, so I’m spared their idea of objectivity. But I’ve been traveling this week and I’ve come down with a cold so I spent a lot of time in the room staring at the TV and trying to recover. In the process, I’ve been treated to a week of HBO’s shameless propagandizing and manipulation of the historic ‘narrative’.
I don’t mean Bill Maher, I won’t watch that buffoon. but I did make the mistake of watching a few minutes of their 2008 film "Recount" which provides a hysterically slanted version of the Florida recount drama that resulted in George Bush winning the presidency against Al Gore.
The movie is filled from stem to stern with silly overstated tripe about how noble and admirable the Democrats are and how self centered and evil Republicans are. But I was struck by one particularly obvious deviation from the facts that the movie made. Al Gore originally requested a hand recount in only a few Democrat dominated counties around Palm Beach, which would of course give him an advantage statistically. Any new votes found would be far more likely to be Democrat votes.
The Bush campaign's response to this request was “If you want a recount that’s fine with us. We’re happy to allow it without a protest, but you have to recount the whole state.” The reason for that was also obvious. A full state recount would include the deeply Red panhandle counties and would eliminate any Gore advantage that a partial state recount would bring. Both those acts are blatantly partisan, but these are electoral campaigns and partisanship is their business. The Democrat response to the Republican offer was an equally partisan “Get Stuffed” or something to that effect. Their lawyers in the real world made the case for only the limited recount, and the drama inevitably played out as it did.
But in the movie it was portrayed as the exact opposite. In the movie’s ‘dramatized’ dialog, the Republicans argued amongst themselves only to “prevent every vote from being counted” while the Democrats argued for only the most noble position of getting every vote counted. When the Florida supreme court mandated a full state wide recount the Democrats are shown cheering even though the exact opposite reaction was probably true in real life since that was the official position of the Bush campaign that the Gore legal team was trying so hard to prevent. It’s literally a case of the “Big Lie” being turned into dramatic fare. And I think I know the reason for it.
The Democrats know that given how lazy America’s public school teachers have become, many high schools will use that dramatized version in history classes as an engaging way to convey the events of the election. Students will watch the movie as if it conveys the real position of the parties involved, and a whole gang of newly mis-informed leftists will find their way into the electorate.
And who could blame them? The movie makes a persuasive case for the Democrat view – even if the view it attributes to the Democrats was actually closer to the Republican view. The Hollywood activists who slanted the movie probably feel like if they couldn’t seize the moral high ground in real life, they’d do it in a work of fiction instead. And then they just have to let teacher laziness be to blame if the kids mistakenly attribute those fictional details to the positions in real life. It’s a brilliant piece of revisionism, that would have no doubt made Trotsky proud.
As I watched the continual distortion, I found myself wondering if the actors involved in the movie are at all ashamed of being a part of such a blatant effort to reinvent reality. They are all 'propagandists" now after all. But I would guess not. They’re probably too dim to understand the facts anyway, and "pretending things" is their business. But HBO certainly knows that this is simple propagandizing. And the rest of us should be aware of it too.
Conservatives really need to put some effort into retaking this portion of US culture before it gets too far. Assuming it hasn’t gotten there already. We’ll probably know the answer to that question in just a few more months.
And I really can’t wait to see what HBO does with Obama’s life story.