Even the mainstream media critic crowd has had to acknowledge that the Robert Redford directed “Lions for Lambs” film is told through a Left Coast lens.
Variety calls the movie (which incidentally also co-stars Redford, Meryl Streep and Tom Cruise) “back-bendingly liberal but also deeply patriotic.”
The Hollywood Reporter points out that although Redford and scriptwriter Matthew Michael Carnahan set out arguments both for and against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, there’s “no doubt” about “where they [Redford and Carnahan] stand.”
And veteran film critic Emanuel Levy says “Lions for Lambs” is Redford’s “most overtly political drama.”
An explanation for the strong leftward tilt of the movie can be found in the background of Carnahan.
While pursuing political science studies at USC, “Lions” scriptwriter Carnahan was also an intern in former President Bill Clinton’s White House. Carnahan’s responsibilities included working in a war room that defended Hillary Rodham Clinton's failed health care plan.
Carnahan received a career boost from older brother Joe who directed “Smokin' Aces” and was scriptwriter of the more even-handed terrorist-related movie “The Kingdom.”
In a lefty performance of the off-screen kind, actor Sean Penn gave folks yet another glimpse into his parallel universe in a fawning interview he did with the U.K. Guardian.
In response to criticism he received for his public embrace of dictator Hugo Chavez, Penn carped, “I take a lot of flak, but truth is stubborn. I ain't going to say it don't annoy me but, if the intention is to make me do it less, it's really going the other way.”
About his part-time journalist gig for the San Francisco Chronicle in which he went on a “fact-finding” journey to Iraq and Iran, Penn boasted, “I don't know if this is true, but I may have written the first published piece in mainstream journalism that actually explained what these contractors were up to over there.”
Regarding the media, Penn complained that “nobody's watching this stuff, and it's eating away at our democracy.” He also groused that we didn’t find out “people were building up these private militias out of the Pentagon with tax payers' money.”
“The way I see it,” Penn said, “if you believe in democracy, you got to do something. We have people running the country now who really should be in prison for what they are doing to democracy. If you define our country by the Constitution, we have enemies of the State in the White House, the Defense Department and the State Department. That's where we are now.”
Wonder if Penn secretly longs to be the running mate of UFO spotter Dennis Kucinich.
James Hirsen is a media analyst, Trinity Law School professor and teacher of mass media law at Biola University.
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