Saturday, September 09, 2006

Disney Needs to Know

It doesn’t happen often, but it looks like I’m going to have to pull rank on Digby again.  Writing of the whole Disney 9/11 docusham, Digby ends with:
And then it's also possible they knew exactly what they were doing. Nowrasteh says they called him in in November of 2004. Disney ABC and Platt may have felt in that moment of GOP triumph that there was no possible downside to blaming the Democrats for 9/11. It looked like the smart play. Two years later it looks like a debacle of epic proportions.

And I appreciate the speculative nature of this, but really can’t see this as being very possible.  Corporate executives are not ideologues and only care about politics as far as it gets them what they want.  But even in the shadow of the 2004 elections, it’s unlikely that they’d have gone for such a partisan movie.  Because a heavily partisan movie with many important and provably false “facts” is never in a serious film company’s best interests.  A right-leaning movie wouldn’t necessarily hurt them, but an openly fraudulent one would.

But as I said before, they probably are Republicans, only in that Republicans most closely match the interests of these kinds of people.  And they probably did want a Republican movie, but they really didn’t know how Republican they were getting.  Because these Hollywood-types are not conservatives.  They like Bush and support many of his policies (eg, annual taxcuts), but they don’t have the big agenda that conservatives have.  And they don’t really see that big agenda, which they’d probably object to.  So they consulted a few conservatives and were given the name of a trusted director, and had assumed they’d be getting a relatively honest work.

And it’s important to remember that they probably weren’t as focused on putting this before the election, but rather, putting it on September 11.  A serious work that would show how serious they could be.  They had ordered a movie based on the 9/11 Commission report, and that’s what the imagined they were getting.  Because they haven’t yet learned that some Republicans prefer something more than money.  The conservatives have got a message to sell.

Trusting Republicans

Because Republicans are not supposed to be the biased loonies.  We are.  To much of America, we’re the wacko extremist loons who can’t keep our partisanship in our trousers.  Whipping it around and blasting everyone with our ideological zeal, so to speak.  That’s what these people really believe.  Not just Republicans, but folks who consider themselves to be moderate or centrist Democrats.  They’ve been told that liberals are the partisan loons and that Republicans are responsible and sane.  And despite all the deeds of the past decade, they continue to believe this.

These aren’t necessarily Fox News watchers, but CNN watchers.  And even then, are likely to only follow the news when the scaremongering gets high.  But they have the same attitude as CNN, and CNN hates us too and does have a certain affection for Republicans.  Sure, they may lean towards the Democratic side on many of the issues, but they like Republicans personally.  

To them, Republicans are supposed to be the principled and truthful ones, which is probably what Disney thought they were hiring.  Even Walter Cronkite and Dan Rather had opinions, which they were able to suppress when delivering the news.  And that’s what Disney thought they were getting.

And so even though they knew they were getting rightwingers, they just assumed that they’d be honest rightwingers.  That they’d tell the story properly.  And seeing as how the director and that other dude continue to insist this is a fair and honest movie, despite all the clear indications to the contrary; there can be few doubts that this is exactly what they told Disney too.  Because these guys sound reasonable, at least when they’re talking to the straight media.  They know the right words to say.  They acted as if this was based on the 9/11 report, which is apparently the film Disney had requested them to make.  And the Disney-ABC execs didn’t have the understanding to know when the film was differing from that report; because they’d never read it and kept getting assurances that the film was faithful to it.

Secret Agendas

And this is what we see repeatedly with Republicans.  They may be batshit crazy inside, but they have just enough connection to reality to understand which things would sound batshit crazy if they actually said them to a straight audience.  That’s what they use pollsters for, to learn the right words to use to sell their agenda.  And so they invent cover stories to hide what their real motives are.  And that’s exactly what we’ve been seeing with this movie, and probably what the filmmakers told Disney.

And that’s what makes our protests all the more important.  Not because Disney’s a secret hard-right organization out to screw the Dems.  But because they’re a mainstream company with a decent reputation which needs to understand that you’ll get burned when you play with fire.  They thought they could trust Republicans to make a fair movie.  They thought they could make a special appeal to rightwingers, who would be the audience most thrilled by a 9/11 movie.  And they need to know what a bad, bad mistake it is to trust their movies to unknown conservatives with hidden agendas.  

We all know that.  We’ve been paying attention for the past fifty years.  And it’s time that Disney learned that too.  Republicans are not to be trusted with Hollywood.  Because when they insist that people can’t separate their biases from the truth and that biased people can think they’re being honest when they’re not; they speak from experience.  Disney’s got to learn.

1 comment:

Reel Fanatic said...

Disney is in so deep now that no matter what they do now they will come out looking just rotten .. Airing a "docudrama" on this horrid day was a bad idea to begin with, but doing from a script by a known right-wing operative makes it much, much worse .. for shame