Spitzer Documentary Sparks Red Faces at CNN

Tuesday, 16 Nov 2010 07:55 PM

By James Hirsen

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The Left Coast: A Political Look at Hollywood

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. ‘Cool It’ Counters Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’
2. Cuba Slams ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’ for Slaying Castro
3. Facts Are a Casualty in Un- ‘Fair Game’
4. CNN Embarrassed by Spitzer Documentary
5. Jesse Jackson’s Color Comment Riles Soledad O’Brien
 

1.‘Cool It’ Counters Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Truth’

Somebody had to make a film that responded to Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth.”

Danish environmentalist Bjørn Lomborg, the star of Ondi Timoner’s documentary “Cool It,” has done just that. His skeptical approach may provide a steppingstone for eco-minded folks to warm up to the truth that the global warming dogma lacks a scientific basis.

The film, titled after Lomborg’s book of the same name, proceeds from the dubious assumptions that global warming is real and that human beings contribute to the phenomenon. Although knowledgeable conservatives will take issue with some of Lomborg’s premises, they will find little fault with his conclusions.

That’s because the documentary shows the hollowness of the messages that the Chicken Littles have put forth in their end-of-the-world scenarios, such as those proposed in Gore’s PowerPoint lecture and those depicted in the film “The Day After Tomorrow.”

Multilateral treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol are fundamentally flawed, asserts Lomborg, who also contends that countries with growing economies such as India and China will not risk putting the brakes on their prosperity to be part of such a treaty.

The film chronicles the Danish scientific establishment’s vicious attempts to shut down Lomborg’s ideas. The attitudes are similar to those seen in the Climategate e-mails.

Gore might say that it’s best that you go see “Cool It” before the polar bears disappear or the sea level rises.

But I say go see it because it tweaks the former veep.


2. Cuba Slams ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’ for Slaying Castro

Video games take plenty of hits for violent content, which does nothing to deter demand.

Activision’s “Call of Duty: Black Ops” is a perfect case in point. On the first day of its release, it raked in a record-breaking $350 million.

Along with staggering sales, it also drew criticism from, of all places, Cuba.

The Cuban communists are upset about a section of the game in which U.S. special ops military try to kill a young Fidel Castro.

“What the United States couldn’t accomplish in more than 50 years, they are now trying to do virtually,” reads the slam on a state-run news site.

The Cold War-set “Black Ops” focuses on the enemies of the United States during that era, including Cuba, the Soviet Union, and Vietnam.

The Castro segment takes place just before the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis. Players engage in virtual battle in Havana, the goal being to assassinate Fidel.

Citing psychological studies, the Cuban regime is lambasting the video game claiming that its use “stimulates sociopathic attitudes in North American children and adolescents.”

The island state opined that violent movies are just fine, perhaps in deference to its Hollywood friends Sean Penn and Oliver Stone.

Incidentally, “Call of Duty: Black Ops” is restricted to buyers 17 years and older.


3. Facts Are a Casualty in Un- ‘Fair Game’ 

Former CIA agent Valerie Plame and her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, are a favorite victim couple in Hollywood. Hence “Fair Game,” the film based on Plame’s memoir of the same name.

It’s an article of faith in Tinseltown that Plame’s cover was blown as an act of vengeance against Wilson for penning a column for The New York Times. The column claimed that the Bush White House exaggerated the nuclear threat that Saddam Hussein posed.

Warner Bros. bought the rights to Plame’s book before it even had been determined that the CIA would allow her to publish any of it. The studio found money from the left-leaning Participant Media and Imagenation Abu Dhabi.

Participant has also delivered to the public other left-wing propaganda, including “Syriana” and “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Sean Penn was chomping at the bit to play Wilson in the Bush-bashing motion picture.

The central premise is that Plame’s status as a covert agent was disclosed by Bob Novak via Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and/or leaks from Bush administration insiders.

The truth is that the CIA had outed Plame seven years before Novak wrote a word about her. And before Novak, writer David Corn had made reference to Plame’s position. Corn’s source was none other than her husband.

The movie presents Scooter Libby as a cartoon villain. (After a political prosecution, Libby was convicted and received a sentence of 30 months in prison and a $250,000 fine, which President Bush commuted.)

The movie ends with Penn, as Wilson, speaking to students and engaging in his new vocation of professional martyr. He tells his sad tale to the students and urges them to “do something about it.”

Although “Fair Game” has tanked at the box office, Summit Entertainment and Penn are hoping that Bush-haters in the Academy will throw some Oscar noms their way.

A sure reason to skip the flick is a recent comment by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, who hailed the movie as this generation’s “Casablanca.”


4. CNN Embarrassed by Spitzer Documentary

One of the unintended consequences of director Alex Gibney’s documentary “Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer” is that it is causing embarrassment to the brass at CNN.

The movie recounts the scandalous manner in which the former New York governor exited office. But it also leaves moviegoers wondering why Spitzer would be awarded a prime-time gig at the cable network.

For Gibney and his journalist collaborator Peter Elkind, it’s probable that the attraction of the subject matter had more to do with the manufacturing of right-wing villains than with informing the public. The two previously worked together on the documentary “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room.”

“Client 9” contains a series of interviews with people who have little love for Spitzer. They include former New York Stock Exchange director and Home Depot co-founder Kenneth Langone, whom Spitzer had prosecuted unsuccessfully, and the former head of AIG, Hank Greenberg, who was forced to resign because of a Spitzer-related investigation.

Roger Stone, a GOP consultant, reveals in the film how he informed the FBI of Spitzer’s unusual affinity for the world’s oldest profession.

Back when Spitzer held the office of New York’s attorney general, he specialized in going after investment bankers and hedge fund executives.

Gibney’s film implies some kind of conspiracy in which the Justice Department utilized FBI wiretaps and press leaks, and worked together with Wall Street tycoons who loathed the former governor.

Conspiracies aside, it’s clear that the responsibility for the embarrassing sex scandal rests solely on Spitzer.

Unfortunately, it’s also clear that when a Democratic politician messes up, a spot on a liberal media network awaits.


5. Jesse Jackson’s Color Comment Riles Soledad O’Brien

In another CNN note, Soledad O’Brien’s memoir, “The Next Big Story,” contains a revelation that the Rev. Jesse Jackson questioned her “blackness.”

After Jackson had expressed anger that CNN didn’t have enough black anchors, O’Brien, the offspring of a white father and black and Hispanic mother, interrupted the reverend and reminded him that she was the network’s “American Morning” anchor.

According to O’Brien, Jackson shook his head and said, “You don’t count.”

O’Brien writes in her book, “I wasn’t sure what that meant. I don’t count — what? I’m not black? I’m not black enough? Or my show doesn’t count?”

O’Brien wrote that she was “angry and embarrassed” by Jackson’s comments and that they left her “ashamed” of her skin color.

Jackson claimed during the 2008 presidential campaign that Barack Obama was “acting like he’s white.”

O’Brien noted that “even someone as prominent in African-American society as Rev. Jackson has one box to check for black and one for white. No one gets to be in between.”

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